A STATE-OWNED bank will warn low-income borrowers to cut spending on Sky TV, socialising and new mobile phones or risk losing their homes.
UK Asset Resolution, the organisation set up to manage £80bn of home loans made by Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock, has identified 30,000 customers who could get into trouble when interest rates rise.
Bank staff will telephone 2,000 customers a week over the coming months to advise them to change their spending habits. Listen to informed dabate on this story
Richard Banks, the chief executive, said a number of customers were barely managing at the moment and needed to consider how they would cope in the future.
“Some people won’t cope when interest rates rise, but for others there are remedies,” he told the Yorkshire Post.
“They need to think about what is their most important debt. It’s not the credit card, or renewing their Sky subscription, or going out or the latest mobile technology, it’s their mortgage.
“They have been protected by low interest rates, but the consensus is that rates will start to rise late next year. We are taking a much more pro-active stance,” he added.
UKAR is also checking with credit agencies to see when customers are getting into trouble with other debts.
Mr Bank added: “We want customers to look at their finances and change their behaviour.”
He said the UK is yet to see the impact of the public sector cuts, which will come in over the next few months. Those cuts are expected to hit the North the hardest as parts of Yorkshire and the North East have become dependent on state-funded jobs. Mr Banks confirmed: “There is a very distinctive ‘red belt’ in the North compared to London and the South East.”