Credit Cards From Largest Banks Would Break New Law, Pew Says

Publication: Bloomberg

Author: Alexis Leondis and Peter Eichenbaum


10/28/2009 - None of the credit cards offered online by the 12 largest U.S. banks would meet requirements of new federal curbs on the industry’s rates and fees, a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts said.

All of the cards surveyed used practices considered “unfair or deceptive” by the Federal Reserve, according to the report released today by the Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization. The study examined almost 400 cards advertised by banks and credit unions and compared terms for cards offered in July 2009 and December 2008.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which takes effect in stages, will require banks to apply payments to higher-rate balances first, limit rate increases and ban practices such as “universal default,” or raising rates based on a missed payment with another lender. Most of those rules are scheduled to begin Feb. 22; others such as limits on gift-card fees are set to start Aug. 22.

“Our research shows the most harmful practices the card act targets remain widespread,” said Nick Bourke, manager of Pew’s Safe Credit Cards Project, which began studying how the industry treats consumers in 2007.

Read the full article Credit Cards From Largest Banks Would Break New Law, Pew Says on Bloomberg.com.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.

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