Personal Finance: Credit Card Industry Puts House in Order

The Birmingham Post (England), September 11, 2004 | Go to article overview

Personal Finance: Credit Card Industry Puts House in Order


The credit card industry has launched a range of initiatives during the past 12 months to improve its transparency and competitiveness.

It has published a report on the steps it has taken to help consumers compare different cards and to promote responsible lending.

The move comes after the industry came in for criticism from the Treasury Select Committee over a lack of transparency, which it said enabled lenders to continue charging high interest rates.

But the report, published by the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS), said since March all credit card issuers had published Summary Boxes in their marketing material to make it easier for consumers to shop around.

The boxes include information on the interest rates charged, the length of the interest-free period and any other fees or charges consumers could incur.

Card issuers have also improved the information they give people on their monthly statements, as well as including a standard warning about the impact of only making the minimum repayment each month over the long-term.

The report said the industry would also give more information to consumers when it sent them credit card cheques, such as the fact that these can incur a higher rate of interest, and it had also reviewed its policy on increasing people's credit limit. …

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