Office of Fair Trading to scrutinise credit card deals

OFT wants to protect against short-term consumer harm

By UK CreditCards.com

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to make the regulation of the credit card industry a priority.

According to the organisation, the sector was subject to "significant changes" as a result of the global financial crisis, and the OFT will seek to ensure that it continues to function. However, the OFT said that it would be prioritising the promotion of fairness and responsibility from the industry, and would concern itself with ensuring customers are treated fairly.

"Much of our work is already aligned with the needs of consumers, business and the economy in the current crisis, but this strategy will sharpen our financial services focus over the coming year," said chief executive John Fingleton. "With our focus on credit, we are addressing the area in which there is a real risk of short-term consumer harm while also ensuring that the sector that emerges from the current crisis is competitive and behaves fairly and responsibly towards consumers."

The government announced last month that credit card companies are to be banned from raising customers' credit limits without permission.

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Published: 15 April 2009