Another week, another lockdown..!

This Saturday (Halloween of all days) it was announced that England would enter another lockdown for November… scary stuff… with cases rising and lockdown already in place elsewhere in the UK, for many this had felt inevitable, but here we are in lockdown again.

The FCA was very quick with their announcement for mortgage holders.

  • Everyone can still take advantage of a mortgage payment holiday up to 6 months.
  • For those that have already used the 6 months, further help is available from lenders (albeit most likely Credit Bureau impacting).

Full marks to the FCA for the speed of the announcement, and no doubt it will be a busy few days in many lenders this week. Expect more to come for the consumer credit side of businesses too.

The key announcement was the extension of the Furlough scheme – the existing scheme was due to end this week and with over 2 million people still on furlough, this will no doubt be a relief to many.

However, this will also have of further spreading the impact from COVID economic changes, for borrowers and lenders, moderating delinquency volumes… for now at least.

The banks had already been anticipating increased losses. Several released dramatic increases in provisions for bad debt this week, this is unlikely to change. Interestingly though in some areas profit was up, driven by an increase in lending from the mini-property boom we had post Lockdown I. We live in a topsy turvey time for sure.

Before all of this, the other big news was the ruling from the ICO, the UK’s information watchdog, that the Credit Reference Agencies (Experian in this case) needed to make changes on how they handle and process data. In particular this related to consent and transparency on how consumers information is used.

It sounds like changes have already been made and this will likely rumble through the process for a while. Marketing and acquisition processes, in particular, will be affected, although may see some in areas such as utilities, where a customer could refuse consent they still must provide service… one to watch.

Finally a couple of other stories of interest around the restructuring of the economy.

It is all change again… enjoy the rest of the weekend…. @chris_w_tweet