U.K. Banks Offer Flood Victims Breaks on Loan Repayments

U.K. banks including HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc said they will offer assistance to customers affected by flooding in Britain.

Customers can apply for a three-month break from loan repayments, HSBC said in a statement today, matching a similar offer Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc made yesterday. Lloyds and Barclays will each provide 250 million pounds ($413 million) of financial support.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons today the banks would provide more than 750 million pounds in total. He repeated a pledge that “money is no object” in providing relief to areas flooded across southern England, as the Met Office weather service forecast more rain and gales today. Six hundred military personnel are helping in flooded areas, while Deloitte LLP estimated insurance costs may reach 1 billion pounds by April.

“The consequences of the floods will be long-lasting and we will continue to provide the financial support and flexibility our customers need,” Antonio Simoes, head of London-based HSBC in the U.K., said in the statement.

Santander UK Plc will provide loan holidays and a 100,000-pound fund to help communities recover, it said in a statement on its website.