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HSBC and Lloyds announce new measures to support customers

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HSBC will allow loan and credit card customers to defer payments for up to three months while Lloyds Banking Group has announced a package of measures to support the most vulnerable at this time.

From today, HSBC personal loan customers struggling to make repayments due to coronavirus will be able to defer payments for up to three months. Customers will need to fill in an HSBC online form.

For credit card customers, the scheme will kick in on 6 April.

It builds on the bank’s previous support for customers, including a three month payment holiday for mortgage holders and a temporary £300 interest free buffer on overdrafts for Bank Account and Advance Account customers. Customers also have the option of a temporary increase in credit card and overdraft limits.

Tracie Pearce, HSBC UK’s director  of retail banking, said: “We know some customers are struggling with personal loan and credit card repayments due to the impact coronavirus is having on their finances. As a result, we have developed an option to defer payments for up to three months for those customers, without it impacting their credit files. This is in addition to a new mortgage payment holiday that we introduced last week.”

Lloyds Banking Group support for vulnerable customers

Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland will write to customers to explain what support is available to them, including a guide on how best to manage their money and how to stay safe from fraud.

The banking group has also introduced a dedicated telephone service for the over 70s with the number found in these letters and emails being sent.

Lloyds said it is trying to identify NHS workers and those considered vulnerable to prioritise their calls through existing phone lines where possible.

While customers are encouraged to carry out online banking, for those who can’t bank digitally and who can’t visit branches, they will grant account access to a trusted person, such as a family member, friend or volunteer.

Customers should ask the trusted person to come to branch with their ID to confirm who they are (passport or photo driving licence). The branch will then phone the customer to make sure they know this person and agree that they can act on their behalf. Withdrawals will be capped at £100.

Lloyds can also issue a new or replacement cheque book if customers text (61119) or call in. For anyone in receipt of a cheque, they can pay it in using the mobile app.

These measures are in addition to those already in place to support customers, such as no missed payment fees, interest free overdrafts of £300 and repayment holidays.

Vim Maru, retail director, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Our colleagues are working tirelessly to support customers at this difficult time. The new measures we’ve announced will allow us to offer more practical support to our most vulnerable customers, ensuring we can prioritise their calls and give them access to their cash.”

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