'Consumers Will Pay for OFT Comparison Website' Moneysupermarket.com Hits out at Plan IN ASSOCIATION WITH Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

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Byline: BY DAVID JONES Daily Post Business Staff

CHESTER-BASED

Moneysupermarket.com claims consumers will ultimately pick up the tab for a proposed credit card comparison website run by the country's financial watchdog in competition to its own.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said such a service would help consumers shop around and find the cheapest credit card deals.

The regulator said the Financial Services Authority had agreed to operate an independent card comparison service covering the whole market.

It will provide an "accurate" idea of the cost of the credit, rather than just an interest rate or APR comparison, and could be up and running within "months", said the OFT.

The OFT has also called for improvement in how information was presented by credit card providers - in particular, swapping lines of small print for easier to read tables - and the standardisation of terminology.

The recommendations follow a "super complaint" to the OFT from consumer group Which? about the way credit card companies calculate interest charges.

The campaign body said consumers are losing pounds 400m a year by not having calculation methods such as APR sufficiently explained.

But Steve Willey, head of credit cards at Ewloe-based price comparison site moneysupermarket.com, said: "Like many of the OFT's ideas, someone is going have to pay for it. …