Jeremy Hunt claims the ‘government will do what it takes’ to tackle inflation

Mortgage-holders will be offered a series of steps to help them deal with the hike in interest rates that leaves some facing extra payments of thousands of pounds a month, the chancellor has announced.

After a key meeting with lenders, Jeremy Hunt unveiled new measures including the ability to talk to their bank or building society without it affecting their credit score.

Mr Hunt, who resisted offering borrowers government support, said banks and building societies had agreed to implement a 12-month minimum term before repossessing homes.

And he said the lenders would allow struggling borrowers to extend the term of their mortgages or move to an interest-only plan temporarily, “no questions asked”.

The chancellor met the bosses of HSBC, Santander and Barclays among others, after a 0.5 percentage-point base-rate hike threatened further pain for struggling households.

He stressed that tackling stubbornly high inflation, which is behind the Bank of England’s repeated rate rises, is the “number one priority”.

Earlier, Downing Street doubled down on its pledge not to directly intervene to help mortgage holders struggling with spiralling costs.


Chancellor unveils new measures to help mortgage borrowers

Mortgage-holders will be offered new steps to help them deal with the hike in interest rates that leaves some facing extra payments of thousands of pounds a month, the chancellor has announced.

After a key meeting with lenders, Jeremy Hunt unveiled new measures including the ability to talk to their bank or building society without it affecting their credit score.

Borrowers will also be able to switch to interest-only loans or extend their mortgage, he said.

Jane Dalton23 June 2023 13:19


‘Very productive’ meeting, says bank chief

NatWest chief executive Alison Rose said it had been a “very productive meeting” as she left the Downing Street gathering with Jeremy Hunt.

“We’re doing everything we can to help customers and help with the anxieties,” she said.

Jane Dalton23 June 2023 14:11


It’s Sunak and his sidekicks who are the real supervillains in the supermarket price war

Food prices are a global problem but Britain’s PM, politicains and monetary policymakers must bear the blame for making Britain’s worse than they otherwise might be – not the supermarkets, writes James Moore.

Read James’s full piece here:

Matt Mathers23 June 2023 14:10


Three key offers for mortgage-holders

A voluntary agreement with lenders will make it easier to get existing support, and ease the negative impact credit checks can have, according to the chancellor.

The Treasury said the banks had agreed to make sure mortgage-holders are able to:

  • change to interest-only payments
  • extend the term of their mortgage – and switch back to their original deal within six months
  • talk to arrange breaks from payments without any impact on their credit score.

These are all things consumer champion Martin Lewis had been pushing for.

The government also said banks had agreed to a minimum of 12 months before a home is repossessed without consent.

Jane Dalton23 June 2023 13:44


We won’t flinch in tackling inflation, pledges Hunt

Mr Hunt said tackling inflation was his and the prime minister’s “number one priority”.

“To everyone who is worried about the high inflation that we have in this economy at the moment, tackling high inflation is the Prime Minister and my number one priority. We are absolutely committed to supporting the Bank of England to doing what it takes.

“We know the pressure that families are feeling. That’s why we’ve introduced big support packages, around £3,000 for the average household this year and last.

“We will do what it takes and we won’t flinch in our resolve because we know that getting rid of high inflation from our economy is the only way that we can ultimately relieve pressure on family finances and on businesses.”

Jane Dalton23 June 2023 13:35


Three key changes for mortgage-holders

Mr Hunt said he had made some “important” agreements with banks and lenders, following a key meeting.

“There are two groups of people that we are particularly worried about. The first are people who are at real risk of losing their homes because they fall behind in their mortgage payments,” he said.

“The second are people who are having to change their mortgage because their fixed rate comes to an end, and they’re worried about the impact on their family finances of higher mortgage rates.”

He said that banks and mortgage lenders had agreed “three very important things”.

“The first is that absolutely anyone can talk to their bank or their mortgage lender and it will have no impact whatsoever on their credit score. That’s really important. A lot of people worry about that.

“The second is that if you are anxious about the impact on your family finances and you change your mortgage to interest-only or you extend the term of your mortgage and you want to go back to your original mortgage deal, within six months, you can do so, no questions asked. No impact on your credit score.

“That, I think, is going to give people a lot of comfort and stop people worrying about having conversations with their banks when they are worried about their financial situation.

“The final thing is for people who are at risk of losing their home in that extreme situation, the banks and mortgage lenders have a number of things in place. The last thing that they want to do is to repossess a home, but in that extreme situation they have agreed there will be a minimum 12-month period before there’s a repossession without consent.”

Jane Dalton23 June 2023 13:22


Sunak rules out ‘fiscal’ support for mortgage holders

Rishi Sunak is ruling out direct “fiscal intervention” from government to support under-pressure mortgage holders facing spiralling monthly costs, Adam Forrest reports.

While chancellor Jeremy Hunt is encouraging the banks to offer more support to customers, No 10 made clear the Treasury would not be offering any money or loans for those worst-hit by interest rate hikes.

Asked if the government would offer direct support, the PM’s spokesman said: “I think the prime minister was clear yesterday, as was the chancellor, in that we’re not looking to make any fiscal interventions in this space. We think that wouldn’t be appropriate.”


Matt Mathers23 June 2023 13:00


Supermarkets hit back after Sunak warns retailers to price ‘fairly’

Supermarkets regard cutting prices as “very important”, according to a former boss of Asda, after the Prime Minister warned retailers about pricing “responsibly and fairly”.

Andy Clarke, who served as Asda’s chief executive officer between 2010 and 2016, said the big chains were “heavily focused” on competitive pricing as the industry hit back over suggestions it has looked to maintain profit margins by passing on inflated costs to customers.

Matt Mathers23 June 2023 12:51


‘Absolutely outrageous’ banks are not passing interest savings on while hiking mortgage costs

Martin Lewis has said it seems “absolutely outrageous” that the rates savers are sitting on are lagging behind the rates being charged to borrowers.

The Money Saving Expert founder, who spoke to the chancellor earlier this week, said he had suggested lenders should be stopped from increasing their profits on the back of interest rates going up.

He said: “They’re putting borrowing up, but they’re not putting savings up by the same amount.

“That seems absolutely outrageous to me, because when the banks were struggling in 2007/2008, we, the state, the taxpayer, bailed them out.”

Matt Mathers23 June 2023 11:16


10,000 homes could be repossessed over next 3 years

Some 10,000 houses could be repossessed over the next three years if interest rates hit 6 per cent, a think tank has warned.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research says: “Our ‘high rates’ scenario assumes that the Bank of England meets current market expectations and raises rates as high as 6.25% by early 2024, with the bank rate still standing at 5% by the end of next year.

“Our model shows that this would lead to more than 9,400 additional repossessions between 2023 and 2025 compared to the baseline scenario, implying a total of 61,600 repossessions for the period.”

(Getty Images)

Matt Mathers23 June 2023 10:41


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