By Sabela Ojea
The Financial Conduct Authority said Thursday that it is proposing a number of measures aimed at offering relief to loan and credit card customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The British financial regulator said that it will support customers hit by the pandemic through a short-term package for a period of up to three months, asking lenders to offer a temporary payment freeze on loans and credit cards to those who are struggling.
Lenders should offer up to 500 pounds ($619.20) at zero interest to overdraft customers at their personal accounts, the FCA said, adding that firms will also have to make sure customers aren't charged more than they would have been before the recent overdraft changes came into force.
The financial regulator noted that "coronavirus has caused an unprecedented financial shock with far-reaching consequences for consumers," and added that these measures are planned to come into force on April 9 after a brief consultation.
"If confirmed, this package of measures we are proposing today will help provide affected consumers with the temporary financial support they need to help them weather the storm during this challenging time," the British watchdog said, adding that firms can offer more generous assistance to their customers.
Write to Sabela Ojea at email@example.com; @sabelaojeaguix