Barclays scheme to help SAM victims

SAMs, which were sold in the 1990s, allowed customers to borrow money secured against their properties without paying interest or making monthly repayments. In return, lenders took a share of any increases in the value of the properties.

But because owners have to repay lenders when they want to move, many of them have found themselves trapped in their homes.

Under its scheme, Barclays is offering SAM customers in significant hardship interest-free, repayment-free loans to help them buy new properties. The loan is paid back on the sale of the property or the death of the borrower.

For customers who wish to remain in their homes, it is offering grants to allow them to carry out modifications.

Catharine French, UK retail banking customer services director at Barclays, says: “We recognise that some SAM customers have seen their properties increase in value at a rate far beyond anything that could have been anticipated back in 1998.

“We launched this scheme after listening to customers, MPs and consu-mer groups and are confident it will help those affected and their families.”