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Regulator announces details of credit card inquiry

Regulator announces details of credit card inquiry
Date of Publication: Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:38

More details have been announced about the investigation into the credit card market that was first announced earlier this year.

 

City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said in April that it was launching an investigation into the workings of the £60 billion market.

 

The credit card industry has seemed to be in rude health this year, with interest-free terms on balance transfers and purchases cards both reaching record levels.

 

But the regulator's initial investigation has determined that the credit card market is not working well enough for some of the UK's 30 million cardholders.

 

Its full inquiry will cover an array of credit card services offered by banks and their brand partners.

 

The issues covered will include the transparency of terms and conditions, the complexity of credit card products, and the ease with which consumers can compare between them effectively.

 

The FCA will also mirror the mortgage market by looking more closely at irresponsible lending practices by credit card providers. 

 

Lenders are regularly thought to encourage borrowers to take on extra credit they don't need in order to profit from interest on the larger balances.

 

The inquiry will investigate whether debt levels have remained high because of credit card marketing or account management techniques that work against the best interests of consumers.

 

The FCA said it was important to get market conditions right for UK consumers, who hold around almost three quarters of all the credit cards in Europe.

 

“We want to understand in more depth what drives consumers to make the choices they do and how firms develop the services they offer,” said Christopher Woolard, the FCA's Director of Policy, Risk and Research.

 

“We want to make sure that the market works well for all consumers and that card-holders get a fair deal.”

 

Keith McDonald

Which4U Editor

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:38
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Top 5 Credit Cards

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Balance Transfers
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Typical APR (variable)
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0%
43 mths
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6 mths
18.9%
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
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11.1%
Representative Example: Representative 11.1% APR (variable) based on an assumed Credit Limit of £1,200. Standard interest rate for purchases: 6.9% p.a.(variable) Annual fee: £24. Your actual credit limit will depend on our credit assessment of you.

Advice

A fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.98% by a refund.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 43 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 2.98% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 6 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
Cash Advance: 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You earn at least £20,000 per year
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have NOT been declined for a Halifax or Bank of Scotland Credit Card in the last 6 months
  • You DO NOT any CCJs or have been made Bankrupt
  • You have NOT missed payments on your current store cards, credit cards, loans or mortgages
  • You ARE in employment (receiving an annual salary)
  • You can provide a telephone number that you can be contacted on

Advice

0% foreign transactions fees when using the card abroad.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 41 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Purchase Rate: N/A
Representative APR
Purchases: 15.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 15.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 21.7% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 29.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Cashback
Standard Cashback Rate: 0.50%
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 years of age;
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  • You do not have a history of bad credit (in other words, county court judgements or bankruptcy);
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Advice

No foreign transaction fees on purchases and cash withdrawals abroad when made in the local currency. No cash withdrawal fees at home and abroad (interest is charged immediately on cash withdrawals and some independent ATM providers may charge a withdrawal fee).

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: N/A
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Purchase Rate: N/A
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 29.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 years of age;
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Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 27 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 2.75% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 27 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 22.8% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 years of age;
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  • You have an income in excess of £7,500.
Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: N/A
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Purchase Rate: N/A
Representative APR
Purchases: 11.1% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: Representative 11.1% APR (variable) based on an assumed Credit Limit of £1,200. Standard interest rate for purchases: 6.9% p.a.(variable) Annual fee: £24. Your actual credit limit will depend on our credit assessment of you.
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 6.90% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 24.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: £24
Standard Features
Credit Limit: £25,000
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
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Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: N/A
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Purchase Rate: N/A
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Purchases: 11.1% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: Representative 11.1% APR (variable) based on an assumed CreditLimit of £1,200. Standard interest rate for purchases: 6.9% p.a.(variable) Annual fee: £24. Your actual credit limit will depend on our credit assessment of you.
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Cash Advance: 12.9% p.a. (variable)
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Credit Limit: £25,000
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
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Advice

Collect 0.5% unlimited cashback on all purchases in pounds sterling. Also, get commission free card purchases abroad!! No balance transfer fee applies for the first 3 months of account opening, after which time it will revert to 2.4% (Minimum £5)

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 12 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Purchase Rate: 0% for 12 mths
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Purchases: 15.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 15.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 15.9% (variable).
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Balance Transfers: 15.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: £25,000
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Cashback
Standard Cashback Rate: 0.50%
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Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 42 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 2.35% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 6 mths
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Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.94% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
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Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
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Standard Features
Credit Limit: £50,000
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
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  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
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10 Choice points for every £1 of eligible spend on the Choice Rewards American Express® Card. 10 Choice points for every £5 of eligible spend on the Choice Rewards MasterCard®.

Introductory Offer
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Balance Transfer Fee: 3% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 12 mths
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Purchases: 23.7% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.94% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 23.7% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: £24 p.a.
Standard Features
Credit Limit: £50,000
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
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  • You have a bank or building society account
  • You have an income over £25,000 p.a
Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 41 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 1.90% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 6 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.94% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have NOT been declined for a Halifax or Bank of Scotland Credit Card in the last 6 months
  • You DO NOT any CCJs or have been made Bankrupt
  • You have NOT missed payments on your current store cards, credit cards, loans or mortgages
  • You ARE in employment (receiving an annual salary)
  • You can provide a telephone number that you can be contacted on

Advice

Introductory Balance Transfer Fee of 3% is subject to a minimum charge of £3. Online account management is only available for existing Clydesdale Bank customers.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 12 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min £3)
Purchase Rate: 0% for 26 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 11.9% p.a. (variable)
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min £3)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 59 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are 18 years or over
  • You are a UK resident

Advice

Online account management is only available for existing Clydesdale Bank customers.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 12 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min £3)
Purchase Rate: 0% for 26 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 11.9% p.a. (variable)
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min £3)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 59 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are 18 years or over
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