UK Mortgage Lenders Launch £5m Campaign to Support Struggling Borrowers
Britain’s largest mortgage lenders are set to launch a multimillion-pound advertising campaign this week, aimed at highlighting the support they are providing to customers facing financial difficulties. The campaign, which is being funded by participating banks, will encourage borrowers to seek help if they are struggling with their monthly repayments. The initiative, organized by industry lobbying group UK Finance, follows discussions with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and the signing of a mortgage charter by major lenders.
The £5m advertising blitz, agreed upon at a meeting with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, will emphasize the range of assistance available to cash-strapped customers. The campaign aims to ensure that borrowers are aware of the support options provided by lenders, even if their payments are up to date. David Postings, CEO of UK Finance, stated, “Lenders are ready to provide support even if a customer’s payments are up to date – if you’re struggling with your mortgage, or think that you will struggle, reach out to find out the options available for help.”
According to industry sources, lenders have already assisted over 200,000 borrowers who were unable to meet their full mortgage payments in the year leading up to January 2023. Additionally, more than two million borrowers have received support due to financial difficulties. The support offered by lenders includes options such as payment extensions, temporary interest-only payments, and temporary payment reductions.
Mortgage Charter and Additional Measures
The mortgage charter, signed by major lenders, includes additional measures to support borrowers. These measures include allowing customers approaching the end of a fixed-rate mortgage to lock in deals and a guarantee that their homes will not be repossessed within 12 months of their first missed payment.
The advertising campaign has been developed by the renowned advertising agency M&C Saatchi on behalf of UK Finance. The launch of this campaign comes at a time when the banking sector is facing increased scrutiny, particularly regarding the speed at which lenders are raising mortgage and savings rates following Bank of England base rate hikes. A separate savings charter is also expected to be published in the near future.
It is worth noting that an unrelated campaign has emerged, putting pressure on major banks, following Coutts’ decision to close Nigel Farage’s accounts. Last week, Dame Alison Rose resigned as CEO of NatWest Group, the parent company of Coutts, after admitting to discussing Farage’s banking arrangements with a BBC journalist.
Overall, the £5m advertising campaign aims to raise awareness among struggling borrowers about the support available to them from mortgage lenders. By encouraging borrowers to seek help, the campaign hopes to alleviate financial stress and prevent potential defaults.
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