The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) may allow businesses to defer their subscription fees as they battle to minimise outgoings during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has said.
The NFDA wrote to the FCA earlier this week, urging the organisation to waive its fees or “at least implement a one-year deferral for motor retailers” in response to the current economic situation, and has now received an indication that their request will be granted.
In a response to the NFDA, the FCA is said to have confirmed that it would be consulting shortly on this year’s fees in a process which would “include a section on deferment”.
News of the potential suspension of fees follows yesterday's (April 2) news that the FCA had outlined a number of measures to protect consumers from the “unprecedented financial shock” triggered by the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown.
Among the measures subject to a fast-track consultation period was a three-month temporary payment freeze on loan and credit card repayments.
Commenting on its appeal to get the FCA to reconsider the terms of its usual subscription charges during the current crisis, NFDA director Sue Robinson said: “During these challenging times, we urge the FCA to consider waiving its fees or at least implement a one-year deferral for motor retailers.
“Each measure that mitigates against the severity of the impact of the Coronavirus will be vital in retaining jobs and investments.
“This simple yet effective measure would ease the burden on motor retailers and give them additional breathing space to meet obligations to staff and creditors.”
In a statement issued this morning the UK Government confirmed that it would be opening up its Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBIL) to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £500 million in a bid to support the wider economy – another issue which the NFDA had been lobbying on.