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Debt charities welcome initiative
Debt charities were relieved to hear that the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, has urged credit card companies to offer help to those customers most heavily in debt.
The Government will now be forcing a series of measures on the companies to ensure fairer terms for credit card borrowers who are already experiencing problems in making their repayments.
Lord Mandelson demanded a review of the practice of some credit card companies increasing their rates by as much as 10 per cent with very little prior warning.
A statement issued after the Credit Card Industry Summit, which included Captial One Barclaycard, Lloyds TSB and Santander, each agreed to offer struggling customers the option to set up, within 30 days, a repayment plan with a debt advisor.
The credit card companies agreed to reconsider the way that interest rates are calculated, with different amounts being charged to different customers with the same card.
HBOS has recently been criticised for increasing its balance transfer rates from 3 to 3.5 per cent on one card. During 2006 the Office of Fair Trading ruled that fees applied by credit card companies should be capped at £12.
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