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UK Cards response to the interim report from the FCA credit card market study

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said:

“The UK Cards Association welcomes this important report. It is a very significant study, looking at a wide range of issues. The FCA has taken some nine months to analyse five years’ worth of transactions from the accounts of 34 million consumers, in addition to extensive consumer research. We will be carefully considering the findings.

“We are pleased that the report has found that credit cards work well for the vast majority of customers. The FCA has highlighted there is a healthy level of switching by consumers, compared to other sectors, demonstrating that competition is working well. We and our members have worked closely with the FCA during the study, including providing data and insights into the industry.

“The FCA has recognised that borrowing is never risk-free, as the ability to repay can be affected by life events and both borrowers and lenders take a degree of risk when entering into any kind of credit agreement. The credit card industry has a long standing commitment to responsible lending. Indeed the FCA has found the great majority of the 30 million credit card holders in the UK use their cards for payments and borrowing in a manageable way and value the flexibility and convenience of credit cards.

“Over the last few years the credit card industry has introduced a number of changes to increase the support for customers who are struggling. It is essential that regulators and the financial services industry work hand-in-hand to protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

“We look forward to working with the FCA to identify ways in which we can build on our considerable track record of providing support to those who find themselves in difficulties, often due to an unexpected life event. This support includes, for example, the provision of ‘breathing space’ and forbearance options.

“The regulator has proposed a number of potential remedies to address issues it has identified. The credit card industry will now engage positively with the FCA in the coming months to ensure that these are carefully considered and that outcomes are evidence based and proportionate, to ensure that consumers are getting a fair deal.”

- ENDS -

For further information contact:

The UK Cards Association press office on 020 3217 8436 or email Press@ukcards-ffauk.org.uk

About The UK Cards Association:
The UK Cards Association is the trade body for the card payments industry in the UK, representing financial institutions which act as card issuers and acquirers. Members of the Association account for the vast majority of debit and credit cards issued in the UK - issuing in excess of 55 million credit cards and 95 million debit cards - and cover the whole of the payment card acquiring market.

The Association promotes co-operation between industry participants in order to progress non-competitive matters of mutual interest; informs and engages with stakeholders to shape legal and regulatory developments; develops industry best practice; safeguards the integrity of the card payments industry by tackling card fraud; develops industry standards; and co-ordinates other industry-wide initiatives such as those aiming to deliver innovation. As an Association we are committed to delivering a card payments industry that is constantly focused on improved outcomes for the customer. More information about The UK Cards Association is available at www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk

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