Regulator warns of more than 350,000 mortgage holders facing payment difficulties


Hundreds of thousands of mortgage holders could face payment difficulties by the end of June next year, according to analysis by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The regulator has said that, in addition to the households already behind on payments, 356,000 mortgage borrowers could face payment difficulties by the end of June 2024.

People in this cohort rolling off a fixed rate mortgage could end up paying an additional £340 a month on average.

While the numbers are high it’s a reduction of 214,000 from the 570,000 borrowers the FCA had, in September 2022, estimated would face difficulty.

The downward revision comes as the market expects the Bank of England to increase interest rates at a lower level than previously thought.

Data from the Bank of England echoes the outlook. The central bank’s Financial Stability Report, published in December, said “significant pressure” would be placed on the ability of households to meet their debts. It warned that economic conditions had deteriorated.

For now, most people are keeping up with mortgage payments, the executive director of consumers and competition at the FCA said, “but some may face difficulties”.

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Lloyds chief executive: 200,000 mortgage customers may struggle to ‘make ends meet’

“Get in touch as soon as you have concerns, don’t wait until you’re about to miss a payment before doing so. Just talking to them about your options won’t affect your credit rating,” Sheldon Mills said.

Those most likely to be “financially stretched” in the working-age population are aged 18 to 34. People living in London and the South East are also most likely to be stretched.

Being “financially stretched” however, does not mean borrowers will miss payments as some will be able to use savings, reduce spending, or increase incomes to help meet their mortgage payments, the FCA says.

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