The current guidance expires on 31 October. The new finalised guidance comes into force on 2 October.
The existing guidance came out in July. Any temporary support already in place will remain until 31 October. Both those who have benefited from the existing guidance, who continue to struggle, and those who are negatively impacted by Covid-19 after 31 October are covered by the new guidance.
The new guidance covers a number of consumer products: credit cards, revolving credit, personal loans, motor finance, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), rent-to-own (RTO), pawn-broking and high-cost short-term (HCST) credit products and overdrafts.
The FCA position remains that it is in the best interests of customers to restart payments where they can. Christopher Woolard, interim Chief Executive, has said that
"For those who can restart payments, it is in their best interests to do so. However, for those who are still facing payment difficulty, or are newly in difficulty, as a result of coronavirus, we expect firms to offer a tailored package of support taking into account the ongoing situation and local or national responses to the crisis. There should be no ‘one size fits all’ approach taken by firms to help consumers get back on track.”
The new guidance will be under continual review. There may be further measures in future. In the event that the FCA consider amending the Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC) or extending the application of this guidance beyond Covid-19 exceptional circumstances a full public consultation and cost-benefit analysis would be required.