uSwitch: Credit card checks 'woefully inadequate'

05 February 2007
An astonishing 96 per cent of applicants for credit cards did not have to give proof of their outgoings when applying to prospective lenders, a uSwitch.com study has revealed.

Despite the fact that the average credit card borrowing limit for new customers constitutes 14 per cent of the average salary, as many as 89 per cent of applicants were also not asked to prove their income.

The figures suggest that income and affordability checks conducted by providers are "woefully inadequate", the switching company claims.

uSwitch.com is calling for the introduction of compulsory income and affordability checks for all unsecured lending products, claiming that the revisions to the Banking Code introduced six months ago, which aimed to make lending criteria more stringent, did not go far enough.

The British Bankers' Association was defiant in the face of uSwitch's allegations of "binge lending practices".

Chief executive designate Angela Knight said: "uSwitch has again misrepresented the facts and got its sums seriously wrong."

But uSwitch.com's director of personal finance, Nick White, remonstrated: "We are just raising an issue that needs to be resolved to ensure that adequate remedies are put in place to stop the UK debt epidemic from claiming any further victims."

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