Banker warns over rates increase

The financial security of tens of thousands of homeowners will be put at risk when interest rates start to rise, a leading banker has warned.

Families will be left struggling to keep up with their mortgage repayments if the Bank of England hikes the rate of interest from its record low of 0.5% as expected, the chief executive of UK Asset Resolution (Ukar), Richard Banks has predicted.

Already some 23,000 of Ukar's 750,000 mortgage holders are behind with their payments by six months and Mr Banks has urged the Bank to exercise great caution with any rate rise, as this figure could rocket following an increase.

Mr Banks said in an interview with the Guardian that lenders had been too lenient with some customers, causing them to fall deeper into debt.

He said: "You can see if you don't do something about it, you can see a tsunami. If you don't get into the hills you could get drowned by this. If you don't manage this properly it could get very messy."

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