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Oh come on.. [written at work, but unable to post]

This is getting silly now.. I know I work for the devil and all, but still, I have to protest the demonisation of credit card companies.

"MPs criticised the banks for the lack of transparency about card charges and for imposing "default charges" on borrowers who cannot keep up payments."

Utter rubbish! Borrowers who CANNOT keep up payments need only ring us, and explain they're in financial difficulty. We'll freeze interest and charges on their account, pending an income/expenditure analysis, and if we find that the customer is in financial difficulty then we'll set up a reasonable fixed payment plan to help them get back on track.

The problem is, borrowers who WILL NOT keep up payments on their cards, though they're capable of it. I know that shortly before I started working here, I was pretty rubbish with my Barclaycard and missed a few payments - not because I was physically unable to make the payment, but because it seemed easier to add a £20 charge to my balance (to be paid off over time) than take £15 out of my bank account and pay it that way.

"At the time, MPs said that the lack of transparency about charges allowed some credit and store card providers to charge exorbitant interest rates - often seven or eight times the Bank of England base rate."

That's because BoE base rates don't take into account lending risk. Simple as that. Store cards have to be inclusive, they have to have high acceptance rates to be viable, so the interest has to be offset accordingly to cover the risk of bad debt. Whether the *correct* rates are being charged is another matter, but the principle behind charging way above the base rate of interest is sound.

"John McFall MP, chairman of the committee, encouraged lenders to share data about borrowers."

DPf'ingA, if the legislation didn't try to screw you over for sharing information (even when it's in the customer's best interests), it'd be easier... It's surely up to the government to provide guidelines for how the DPA should be applied in such cases, not for the banks to share information and hope they don't get sued.

And as for credit card cheques - we only tend to send them out to good customers, who are unlikely to get into bad debt. And they're pretty sought-after among our customers anyway, since they give you a cheaper way to pay for things that you were probably going to get anyway...

Bah.. why is everyone so mean to credit cards? Did we do something wrong?


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