SUPPORT for mortgage payers during the coronavirus pandemic will continue until the end of October, the City watchdog has confirmed.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that customers who are still struggling to keep up payments because of Covid-19 would have the option of taking a full or partial payment holiday for a further three months.

Those who had not yet sought support will have until October 31 to request a payment holiday. However, the FCA said if customers could now afford to resume payments, they should do so.

The watchdog also confirmed the ban on lenders repossessing homes would continue until October 31.

“This will ensure people are able to comply with the Government’s policy to self-isolate if they need to,” it said.

“Firms will communicate with customers regarding what happens when their payment holiday ends.

“They should offer a range of options for how the missed payments will be repaid, if they are able to resume payments.”

Lenders will also continue to support those customers who have already had a payment holiday should they need further help and contact them to find out what they could afford to repay.

If they remain in financial difficulties, further support should be offered, which could include the option of another three-month full or part-payment holiday.

The FCA added that payment holidays under it guidance will not have a negative impact on credit files, but consumers should remember that lenders may use information from other sources, such as bank account information, in their lending decisions.

It said lenders should be particularly aware of the needs of their vulnerable borrowers and consider how they engage with them, and for those who could not use online services they should make it easy for them to access alternatives.

“The measures we have confirmed today will mean anyone who needs to can get help from their lender, if they are still struggling to pay their mortgage due to coronavirus,” said the FCA’s interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard.

“It is important that if a consumer can afford to restart mortgage payments, it is in their best interests to do so. Customers should talk to their firm about the best option available for them.”