The measures, which would generally require a long consultation, could come into force on April 9. The Financial Conduct Authority said the process was accelerated “given the national emergency and the significant impact on consumer finances at the moment.”
It is aimed at consumers and tenants who do not benefit from the existing emergency measures which have targeted owners – with paid holidays – or business owners.
The proposals include a temporary freeze on loans and credit card payments for consumers facing financial difficulties as a result of the epidemic.
FCA said consumers who risked having their credit cards suspended due to the regulator’s new affordability rules would not lose access to their accounts.
Lenders are also expected to waive interest charges on overdrafts arranged up to £ 500 over the same period, which would extend the relief already announced by some banks, including Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds.
Consumers who use unauthorized overdrafts would also benefit. Most banks have started charging a single interest rate of 39.9% for unauthorized arranged overdrafts under new rules to normalize fees this month.
But FCA’s emergency measures force companies to make sure that all customers are “no worse off” because of the changes, which means that some customers may come back to lower interest rates.
Banks and credit card providers will need to ensure that consumer credit scores are not affected by any of the measures, said FCA.
FCA Interim President and CEO Christopher Woolard said: “The coronavirus has caused an unprecedented financial shock with far-reaching consequences for consumers across the UK.
“If confirmed, this package of measures we are proposing today will help provide affected consumers with the temporary financial support they need to help them weather the storm during this difficult time.”