Banking: Halifax announce additional support during coronavirus crisis | Personal Finance | Finance

The bank, overseen by Lloyds Banking Group, has told its customers they are arranging a new overdraft system to help those affected by the pandemic. From April 9, 2020 until July 9, 2020, the first £500 of arranged overdrafts will be interest free, doubled from the previous £250. This automatic buffer is extended to most Halifax customers to help see them through a time of increased financial strain.

However, for those who wish to apply for, or to increase an arranged overdraft, there are a variety of options available.

Halifax can be contacted via telephone, the online banking app, or through the mobile app.

Customers are also able to check their eligibility for an overdraft using a tool on the bank’s website. 

After the July 9, 2020 date the interest free amount will be set at £0, except for the bank’s Ultimate Reward Current Account, at which the interest free amount is set at £50.

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For customers who have left their property empty, Halifax has also extended its unoccupied property arrangement on home insurance.

Previously, customers were only permitted to leave their house empty for 30 days, however the bank has vowed to cover properties until personal situations are resolved. 

Further information on issues such as mortgage payment holidays, credit card limit increases and loan repayment holidays is also being provided by Halifax online. 

The bank has been forced to close branches and make changes to opening hours in order to cope with COVID-19.

However, it has ensured customers its services will be otherwise unaffected.

Earlier in the month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took steps to order banks to offer additional support to their customers. 

The FCA held a short consultation, followed by a move to roll out its plans to all banks across the UK.

At the time, financial journalist and Money Saving Expert founder, Martin Lewis, described the FCA’s actions as “another welcome, yet unprecedented, coronavirus-driven intervention”.

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