Financial health warnings come to credit cards

12 November 2004
Financial 'health warnings' about the consequences of debt are to be included on credit card bills, a review of the voluntary banking code has said.

Elaine Kempson of Bristol University reviewed the code and made a list of recommendations which will are set to be put into practice in March 2005.

She said: "I welcome the response to my report by the industry, indicating that they accept almost all of my recommendations."

Keith Tondeur, national director of Credit Action, welcomed proposals.

He said: "We have been pushing for a summary box for some time as we find many people struggle to understand even the basic concepts as to how credit works.

"For the same reason explaining how interest builds up is vital. With some cards allowing people to pay a minimum of just two per cent and estimates that over ten per cent of us only pay this amount each month it is important that we all realise that we should pay as much off each month as we can.

"Some paying only the minimum amount each month could in fact be paying for several decades."

Sandra Quinn, communications director at the Association for Payment Clearing Services agreed, saying: "We are a nation of card users and the industry wants to make sure we all have the information we need to understand how they work and to use them wisely."

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