Friday, November 27, 2009

Credit card reform; new law and fees -

Banks no longer even pretend

The one silver lining is that the public is finally seeing how devious and untrustworthy credit card lenders truly are. When issuers limited themselves to beating up on folks with bad credit, it was too easy for the rest of us to dismiss their foul tactics as business as usual. Now that the schoolyard bullies are going after everyone, the need for putting restraints on the industry is ever more obvious.

Although virtually every issuer has participated in the madness, a few have managed to distinguish themselves and deserve to be called out. For example:

After promising to stop raising interest rates in advance of the Credit CARD Act's implementation, Bank of America announced it would start slapping annual fees on accounts -- a direct contradiction of its Oct. 5 pledge to stop 're-pricing' customer accounts.

Citibank has been raising rates, then promising to rebate a portion of the interest paid to customers who charge a certain amount every month. In other words, the lender will give customers a small kickback as long as they keep digging a bigger debt hole for themselves.

HSBC apparently lowered at least one customer's credit limit simply because he lives in California. (I know some people are mindlessly biased against Californians, but this is ridiculous.)

Read rest of story
Liz Pulliam Weston - Credit card reform; new law and fees - MSN Money:

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