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Credit card interest rates rising

Research confirms what many Britons feared


Published: 29 April 2009

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Credit card interest rates risingMany of the largest credit card providers in the UK have been increasing interest rates and other charges over the past year, new research has confirmed.

According to consumer watchdog Which?, firms have either hiked rates or found other ways of increasing income from their products. Which? Money editor, Martyn Hocking, said the news would has not been welcomed by consumers struggling during the recession.

"At a time when we're all feeling the pinch, it's hugely disappointing that credit card companies are choosing to put the squeeze on borrowers more than ever," he said.

Interest rates have increased by an average of 0.5%, but some have gone up by as much as 4% in the last year -- despite the Bank of England base rate reaching a historic low of 0.5%. Mr Hocking called on credit card providers to "enter the real world."

"They need to make credit cheaper and their charges more transparent and fair, rather than making it harder than ever for people to make ends meet and pay back their debts," he said.

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