RBS offers mortgage relief to Coronavirus patients
Royal Bank of Scotland has pledged to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers affected by Coronavirus.
RBS will also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts to allow customers to access cash, and will also refund credit card cash advance fees.
Additionally, customers can apply for an increased temporary credit card limit and request an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500
The Bank says it has also “proactively” contacted 5,000 customers to offer support.
The measures come as the Italian government suspends mortgage, tax, and interest repayments for all citizens as the country remains on lockdown.
Last week, financial trade body UK Finance said that banks, building societies, and credit card providers in the UK would show understanding to customers for those who contract the virus.
An RBS spokesperson said: “We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.”
Last month, NatWest and TSB offered mortgage and loan repayment deferrals to customers impacted by the recent flooding across England and Wales.
Martijn van der Heijden, chief strategy officer at Habito, commented: “Right now, it’s fairly commonplace for repayment holidays to be offered to customers who need help with their mortgage, so we expect to see more lender’s reminding customers of this facility if they are eligible. However, not all lenders offer repayment holidays and it’s likely that it won’t be offered to everyone – for example, those already in arrears, or who have bad credit – unless the Government mandates it.
“So, questions will now be asked if the UK could do the same as Italy for all households with a mortgage in the coming weeks of the pandemic. While total homeownership rates in Italy are at roughly similar levels to the UK, many more people in Italy own their home outright. Here, we have a much higher proportion of homes that are mortgaged (about 30% compared to Italy’s 15%) so the Government will have to weigh up all the implications of letting the 9 million outstanding residential mortgages, worth a collective £1,486 trillion, take a repayment holiday that could last months.
“It also raises questions for the millions of people who rent. On average, those with a mortgage spend 18% of their household income on mortgage payments, whereas rent payments are 33% of household income for private renters. If there’s a mortgage payment holiday for the estimated 200,000 buy-to-let landlords in the private rented sector – would those savings be passed on to their tenants?”
Source: Financial Reporter