Page 9 - The UK Cards Association Annual Report 2012

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The lesson of the last couple of years
is that the only effective
way in which to develop policy for our industry is to consider
everything on the basis of robust evidence. This has enabled the
industry to counter many of the myths and anecdotes that
surround industry practice without compromising the benefit
and value of a global card payment system that nowadays we
take for granted.
The UK card payments industry delivers
significant value to its cardholding customers,
retailers and businesses alike. Payment cards
have become an integral and indispensable part
of the UK economy accounting for over 8 billion
purchases worth £428 billion in 2010, and
accepted at almost 1 million retail outlets in the
UK alone. Credit cards provide consumers with
access to flexible borrowing, which the vast
majority manage responsibly.
The industry is committed to delivering the
highest standards for its customers by providing
a fair, efficient service through products that are
trusted, transparent and competitive. It aspires
to create an environment where its personal
customers feel in control of their finances, and
where its retail customers can accept payments
with confidence. The industry strives to put
customers at the heart of its work, listening and
acting positively to their needs and responding
to any concerns about its practices. Too often in
the past the intrinsic benefits of the card industry
and the set of values to which it subscribes have
been lost in public debate, a situation we have
sought to reverse.
We now regard ourselves as a leader among
industries in terms of the evidence we make
publicly available to explain how our industry
works and why it does what it does. This is
recognised as a long term commitment that
works in the interests of both the industry and
its customers.
Whilst 2010 was focussed on delivering
against the commitments made by the industry
in response to the 2010 Credit & Store Card
Review, 2011 has been about us working out
what our customers really want by way of
change and the scope for changes that will
benefit customers in an increasingly difficult
economic environment. From early 2012
customers will start to receive Annual Credit
Card Statements (ACCS), an initiative being
implemented across the industry,
complementing the already widespread ability
for customers to download their transactional
data in a way that is consistent with the
Government’s consumer empowerment
strategy and its midata project.
A change in Government has exacerbated the
trend in the political world characterised by a
steady flow of consultations requiring industry
input. Whilst our evidence-based approach
places demands on resource to keep up, the
Association continues to meet the challenge
and present the industry’s viewpoint in a
straightforward manner. We have also continued
to provide strong leadership and influential
Credit card lending to individuals, including securisations
Source: Bank of England (series LPMVZRJ, including series footnotes)
£ billion
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
2007 2008 2009 2010
Average during the year