FCA to tell lenders to extend payment freeze on car finance and high-cost credit

New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday indicated that it will tell rent-to-own firms, car finance providers, and pawnbrokers to keep offering payment freezes to borrowers in financial difficulty in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Under extended proposals, customers who have yet to request a payment freeze would also have until 31 October to do so, the FCA said.

Under a payment holiday announced in April, the FCA ordered firms to give drivers a three-month freeze on payments if the pandemic had left them in temporary financial difficulty. It told firms not to end agreements or repossess vehicles for such customers.

READ MORE: Quiet end to the week for stocks as US coronavirus numbers in focus

Firms offering rent-to-own, “buy now, pay later” and pawnbroking agreements were also

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No politics, please! Hong Kong finance professionals impose self-censorship after security law

By Sumeet Chatterjee and Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A year ago, growing anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong were a hot topic in conversations among bankers, lawyers and other investment professionals in one of the world’s biggest and freest financial hubs.

On Thursday, two days after China imposed a controversial new security law on the city, you could almost hear a pin drop. Bankers were tight lipped, shunning any mention of the legislation over the phone or messaging apps in a sign of how much disquiet it has triggered.

More than half a dozen people Reuters spoke to said they chose not to talk about the impact of the law on their businesses with their colleagues and external contacts, though there had been no such official instruction from their respective organizations.

The sweeping legislation pushed the semi-autonomous city, which is the regional home for a large number of global

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Warren Buffett’s often surprising business empire is now backed by the Fed

While other billionaires made their fortunes by building just one business, Warren Buffett owns dozens, producing everything from bricks to underwear. A list of the most prominent brands reveals many surprises.

And here’s another surprise, which came to light over the weekend: The Federal Reserve now has an investment in Buffett’s massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.

As part of its growing coronavirus economic rescue program, the Fed has started buying corporate debt, including bonds issued by a couple of businesses that are part of Berkshire.

Buffett didn’t ask for and doesn’t need the Fed’s help. But he has been benefiting from the incredibly low interest rates the Fed’s bond-buying has helped generate.

Cheap money might help him add to his empire, which now includes these companies. You probably never knew Buffett was the owner of many of these businesses.

With nearly 3,000 employees, the Acme Brick Company produces a range … Read More

South Korea Finance Minister Sees Third Extra Budget as Last

(Bloomberg) — South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki sees a third extra budget pending approval in parliament as the last for this year and said the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic may have bottomed.

South Korea’s economy can still avoid its first annual contraction in more than two decades if stimulus measures including the latest supplementary budget get carried out quickly enough to build on the momentum of improving exports and consumer confidence, Hong said in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday.

“We are seeing signs of consumption and exports recovering from May,” said Hong, who also serves as deputy prime minister. “What’s more important than pouring out more measures and money is ensuring that the third extra budget and the series of measures taken in the first half feed through.”

The government has so far pledged more than 270 trillion won ($225 billion), or roughly 14% of its

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