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FSA Campaign to help UK Homeowners Worried about Meeting their Mortgage Repayments

Housing-Market / UK Housing Mar 10, 2008 - 03:39 AM GMT

By: Submissions

Housing-Market New figures published by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) today show that one in five mortgage holders are concerned about meeting their repayments in the next 12 months. When asked how they would meet these costs, a quarter of them said they had no plans.

The FSA is now launching a £2 million advertising campaign to help consumers make informed financial decisions and find the right mortgage for them. It is especially focusing on people whose fixed rate or discount deals are coming to an end this year – 1.4 million short-term fixed rate mortgages are due to end in 2008*.

Chris Pond, FSA Director of Financial Capability, said: "Economic conditions are getting tougher, putting pressure on family finances. As the UK's financial watchdog we can help. Our new checklist sets out simple steps that homeowners can take to manage their money and mortgage in difficult times.

"And for those who are really struggling, don't panic. Talk to your lender or get free, confidential debt advice."

The FSA has published a ' Stay in control of your mortgage ' checklist on its Moneymadeclear website, to help people manage their mortgage if times get tough:

  • Check your budget – think about how you would cope if your mortgage payments increased significantly;
  • Start planning now – talk to your lender and check out your options with the Moneymadeclear impartial mortgage comparison tables ;
  • Get help – don't panic if you're falling behind with your payments, talk to your lender and/or get free, confidential help from an independent debt advice agency.

The Moneymadeclear range of impartial information contributes to the FSA's £90 million National Strategy for Financial Capability, which links Government, financial services industry, voluntary sector and consumer and education groups in an aim to reach at least ten million people in five years from 2006.

The FSA is also now to lead a two-year pilot project to test delivery of the UK's first national money guidance service following an announcement by HM Treasury yesterday.

The Thoresen Review of Generic Financial Advice, which was launched last year, recommended that the FSA leads a 'Pathfinder' programme to set up a service offering free, impartial information and guidance on money matters. The service will work in partnership with a range of organisations that are experienced in delivering money guidance.

The full range of the FSA's impartial comparison tables are available at . The 'Stay in control of your mortgage' checklist is part of the mortgages range of free printed guides available to download, or order by calling the FSA's Consumer Helpline on 0845 606 1234 – Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm (call rates may vary).

*From FSA Product Sales Data.

  1. The survey was conducted by TNS with a nationally representative sample of 2011 adults aged 16+ interviewed across the UK between 15 and 19 February 2008, 573 of whom were mortgage holders.
  2. Breakdown of the survey:
    • 19% are concerned about meeting the cost of their mortgage repayments over the next 12 months;
    • of those, 24% haven't planned anything to meet the cost over the next 12 months;
  3. Download the checklist in full colour or ink friendly , or order it by calling the FSA's Consumer Helpline on 0845 606 1234 – Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm (call rates may vary).
  4. The £2 million advertising campaign began on 24th February and will run for five weeks on radio, press, online and outdoor in selected locations across the UK.
  5. The FSA's website contains practical tips and interactive mortgage tools including a Budget calculator and Mortgage calculator to help people review their finances and know what they can afford, and impartial comparison tables to compare the costs and features of different mortgages.
  6. The FSA regulates the financial services industry and has four objectives under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: maintaining market confidence; promoting public understanding of the financial system; securing the appropriate degree of protection for consumers; and fighting financial crime.
  7. The FSA aims to promote efficient, orderly and fair markets, help retail consumers achieve a fair deal and improve its business capability and effectiveness.

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