High street bank offers a mortgage break to anyone affected by coronavirus

First Direct has announced a raft of new measures to help those struggling amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The high street bank said it's introducing the option to extend your mortgage term and more – to support those impacted by the virus and unable to work, including the self-employed.

For customers in financial difficulty, this will include early access to fixed rate savings accounts without closure charges and the opportunity to apply to extend the remaining term of their mortgage or switch their rate.

Anna MacFarlane, at first direct, said: “We know some of our customers will be affected financially by Covid-19. To help our customers who need some support we have a range of measures to help them through these uncertain times.”

People struggling to pay the bills thanks to the coronavirus outbreak have also been told there is help at hand from NatWest and RBS.

The bank confirmed to Mirror Money that customers in financial trouble thanks to the infection – whether they have it or have seen their earnings hit because of it – could qualify for a break from mortgage and loan payments, higher card limits and be able to close savings accounts early with no penalties.

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However, a spokesman was keen to emphasise that the help available was on a case-by-case basis.

“We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption," the spokesman said.

"We understand that there may be circumstances where a personal customer may fall into financial difficulty as a result of the impacts of coronavirus, for instance, loss of income.

"We will look to understand each customer’s situation on a case-by-case basis and can offer a number of options to help them manage their finances. We would encourage any customer experiencing financial difficulty to get in touch with us.”

RBS – which owns NatWest and Ulster Bank – has a range of options available to people in financial difficulty who come to it asking for help.

These include:

  • Mortgage and loan repayment deferral for as long as 3 months
  • Closing fixed savings accounts early closure charge
  • Refunds on credit card cash advance fees
  • Increased temporary credit card limit
  • Increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500 on debit cards

“We have a strong track record in working with our customers who are affected by disruption outside of their control," the RBS spokesman said.

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