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Mortgages: Northern Ireland

Question for Treasury

UIN 28106, tabled on 11 March 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the mortgage lending sector on tackling the situation affecting mortgage prisoners in Northern Ireland.

Answered on

18 March 2020

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with many organisations in the public and private sectors on a variety of issues, including mortgage prisoners.

A mortgage prisoner is defined by the FCA as an existing customer that may be experiencing harm because they are unable to switch to a better deal. The Government is aware that these borrowers have been in a difficult and stressful situation. That is why we have worked closely with the FCA to implement their rule change to remove the regulatory barrier that has prevented some customers from switching.

Lenders are currently making the necessary adjustments and system changes to enable them to use the modified affordability assessment for borrowers looking to re-mortgage. We expect lenders to start offering these borrowers products using the new rules in Q2 2020.

I have written to Stephen Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UK Finance to outline my expectation that as many of its members as possible should move quickly to offer new deals to borrowers that are eligible to switch under the new FCA rules.

Answered by

Treasury