Information for the public - Covid-19
We recognise that some members of the public are facing financial challenges due to coronavirus (Covid-19). We are working closely with the Government of Jersey, trade organisations, and local regulated businesses to reduce the risk of financial loss to Islanders. We are monitoring the impact of the pandemic on Jersey's financial services industry.
There are some sensible steps that you can take to protect your finances. We have outlined some considerations below around the day-to-day financial implications of Covid-19 on mortgages, investments and insurance.
Mortgages, loans, overdrafts and credit cards
If you are experiencing financial difficulties or you are worried about your short-term cash flow and concerned about meeting payments on mortgages, personal loans, overdrafts or credit cards, you should contact your bank or financial services provider.
We have had discussions with a number of local retail banks to make sure they have measures in place to support customers who may experiencing financial difficulties due to Covid-19.
After considering the action being taken by other governments and regulators, we can confirm that the Jersey branches listed below are adopting a combination of measures put in place by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):
- Barclays Bank plc, Jersey Branch
- HSBC Bank Plc, Jersey Branch
- Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc, Jersey Branch
- Santander Financial Services plc, Jersey Branch
- The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited
These measures include:
- Offering a level of flexibility to customers whose financial circumstances have changed due to Covid-19, in line with the FCA’s guidance. For example:
- payment holidays on mortgages
- deferrals on capital repayments
- Restructuring of loans over longer terms
- Access to deposits without imposing breakage fees.
- Offering similar flexibility for business customers to free up working capital. For example:
- offering repayment holidays
- increasing overdraft facilities
- offering trade finance facilities.
- Ensuring customers’ credit ratings are not negatively impacted if they are have been financially affected by Covid-19
- Ensuring that loans are not automatically classified as ‘past due’ for borrowers who are impacted by Covid-19
These changes are to help customers who need immediate and short-term financial assistance.
We have prioritised these measures due to the potential impact on the public. We are open to exploring further action to support banks and consumers as and when necessary.
In August 2020, the Government of Jersey issued guidance for consumers who have or are considering borrowing money during the Covid-19 crisis. This guidance also covers providers of credit and other related services.
We are monitoring the situation and will consider any further developments relating to Covid-19 and/or changes in approach by the UK regulatory bodies.
If you are experiencing any financial difficulty, we strongly recommend that you speak with your bank to discuss the support options available to you.
Investments and pensions
The pandemic has led to volatility in the markets, which has understandably caused savers concern, particularly for investments and pension arrangements.
If you are saving or investing, you need to be cautious about scams or making hasty decisions with your money. Remember to:
- do appropriate checks on any opportunities and get appropriate professional advice
- think carefully before you make any decisions with your money, as once you've transferred it to scammers it will be difficult, if not impossible, to recover
- even if the investment opportunity isn't a scam, it might not be right for you and could have a detrimental impact on your long-term finances.
- avoid rushing any decisions and make sure you seek professional advice from licenced or regulated advisers.
Check our list of current regulated investment advisers in Jersey
Be ScamSmart- the UK's Financial Conduct Authority's website enables you to feed in information about an investment opportunity to check that the offer is legitimate and avoid scams.
For more information about how your pension may be affected by Covid-19, you can visit the UK pensions advisory service.
If you hold any insurance policies, we would strongly encourage you to check whether you have available cover.
Check the wording of your policies and contact your provider directly to confirm whether you have cover.
It is important that you notify your insurer as soon as possible if you have a potential claim.
If you have made an insurance claim that you feel has been unfairly turned down by your insurer:
- First, make a complaint to your insurer
- If you are not satisfied with your insurer's response, then you should refer your complaint to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman.
For business owners, Jersey Business has published some facts and advice on Business Interruption Insurance
Business Interruption Insurance
If you are experiencing cash flow problems due to Covid-19 and can't afford your insurance payments, you should contact your insurer to discuss your options.
Covid-19 frauds and scams
There has been a significant increase in frauds and scams since the outbreak of Covid-19. We are advising the public to be extra vigilant with their finances at this time.
Whether you are communicating via email, phone or face-to-face, be cautious about sharing any personal or financial information. The following should be red flags if you are:
- asked to provide your bank details, PIN numbers, personal passwords or transfer any sums of money
- offered refunds on cancelled trips or other losses due to Covid-19
- pressured into making a decision because of an emergency such as being the victim of hacking
- warned that if you do not adhere to instructions, your account will be shut down or sensitive information about you or your family will be released
- offered goods or services advertised with a limited time or an exclusive promotion.
The Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum has published useful information and advice about the types of Covid-19 frauds and scams that are currently circulating, capitalising on the pandemic and people's vulnerabilities. You can find out more on the Forum's website and social media pages.
If you think you have fallen victim to a fraud or scam, you should report it to the States of Jersey Police on (01534) 612 612.
For more information and advice about scams and frauds visit fraudprevention.je
Complaints against financial service providers
If you are not happy with the service you receive from your provider, you should make a complaint to them and allow them the opportunity to resolve the matter. During these exceptional times, you may find that they are delayed in responding.
If your financial service provider doesn't resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you can refer the matter to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman
Impersonation of the JFSC or regulated businesses
Under the current restrictions, we and many regulated businesses in the Island and overseas are working remotely, possibly with a skeleton team of staff manning offices. This could be an opportunity for scammers to pretend to be representatives from the JFSC or a financial services business. There are some simple steps you can take if you are contacted out of the blue:
- Consider whether the organisation has ever made contact with you before. Could the phone call or email be a scam?
- Be wary of any requests to provide your bank details, personal passwords, login information or to transfer any money.
- Does what you're being offered seem too good to be true?
- Are you being warned that you've been hacked?
- If there is a phone number, link or attachment included in an email claiming to be from the company and you're concerned about its authenticity do not use the phone number, click on the link or open the attachment.
Contact by email
Although staff are working remotely, they still have access to their normal email accounts. Any email contact should be from the organisation’s normal email addresses.
Check historic emails or written correspondence that you have received from the company to see if it is the same. Phishing scams often clone business email addresses as closely as possible.
Contact by phone
Ask for the person's name and phone number and say you will call them back. Then check the phone number on any previous correspondence or emails you've received or numbers listed on the organisation’s website. If the phone number doesn't match then don't use it.
If you're in any doubt about whether the contact is authentic, use contact details on:
- the organisation's website
- business cards you've been given by an official staff member
- previous correspondence.