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Overcoming uncertainty and building a healthy financial future

Since COVID-19, we have seen a decline in our economy, with some individuals finding themselves unemployed and feeling anxious about the uncertainty surrounding their financial situation. However, since the pandemic began, there have been many schemes and initiatives offered to those struggling with payments, including mortgage payment breaks. As lockdown measures in most  areas are eased, our economy is beginning to recover. We’re looking at the reasons to remain positive and how to have a healthier financial future post-lockdown.

Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, states that the UK is on course for a V-shaped recovery. This implies that our economy will gain momentum as quickly as it downturned, especially with businesses opening and a pent-up demand for services.

During the pandemic, due to unemployment rates rising and furlough, many people have been left feeling anxious about their financial commitments. However, the financial services industry has banded together to allow customers breathing space in the form of payment breaks – these apply to both mortgages and credit cards, where monthly payments can be paused for up to three months. Hinckley & Rugby Building Society has supported 10% of all our mortgage customers through the mortgage payment break system, offering a range of exit solutions afterwards.

We are also keen to support the community and are working with the four other Leicestershire building societies to support five local charities. In light of many of us working from home, we have adapted to virtual methods of networking and sponsor Project R, which is a monthly session where businesses from the Rugby area speak about how they are managing through COVID-19.

While businesses have remained closed (particularly in the retail and hospitality sector), our members have reported saving a lot more, in the absence of their usual leisure activities. Although it has sometimes been difficult to adapt to these changes, lots more people, especially 18 to 34 year olds, are paying more attention to their long-term finances during the pandemic[i], which could lead to healthier financial futures.

Although restrictions are slowly being lifted, we wanted to let you know that we’re here to listen and are encouraging you to keep in touch. Our Mortgage Support Promise outlines all the ways we are helping customers who have been or are still being financially affected by COVID-19, from signposting you to free independent advice, to discussing the best solution for your individual circumstances.

Our Chief Executive Colin Fyfe states:

“There are challenges in the economy at the moment, but that also always brings opportunity. People have been using this time to reflect on both sides of their financial position   and have been making use of the fact they are less mobile to enter into a regular saving habit. Although people have been undoubtedly anxious, their saving has allowed them to reduce their debt and save up for any assets they may have wanted.”

We are here for you through any financial difficulty you may be facing during this period. Where you can, we would encourage you to save money and consider your long-term finances. If you require support, please get in touch.

[1] Nearly half of 18 to 34-year-olds ‘paying more attention to long-term finances’