Britain extends help to coronavirus-hit borrowers

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed outside the Bank of England in London, Britain August 4, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog said on Monday it would extend payment holidays on credit cards, car finance, personal loans and pawned goods before tougher coronavirus restrictions come into effect this week.

Britain announced a one-month lockdown across England would start on Thursday to contain a second wave of the pandemic.

Consumers who have not yet had a payment deferral under guidance issued in July can request one that lasts for up to six months, the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement.

Borrowers who have already had one deferral would be able to apply for a second deferral, the FCA said.

“Borrowers should only take up this support if they need it,” the FCA said in a statement.

For high-cost, short-term credit like payday loans, consumers could apply for a payment deferral of one month if they have not already had one, the FCA said.

“We will work with trade bodies and lenders on how to implement these proposals as quickly as possible, and will make another announcement shortly,” the FCA said.

The FCA said on Saturday it would propose further relief to help mortgage borrowers and would make a statement on Monday.

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