Credit card interest rates higher now than since 1998

2 February 2011


We’re all suffering in the ‘current climate’ of abject poverty and grinding despair, but reports suggest that the credit card companies haven’t been reading the script and are continuing to screw the living daylights out of all of us harder, faster, stronger and longer.

Right now, the average credit card interest rate is a whopping great 18.9% - that’s the highest that it’s been since 1998. As the maths marvels at This Is Money point out, back then, the difference between the average rate and the Bank of England’s bas rate was 13.85% - today it is 18.4%. Chilling stuff.

Of course, the banks have their pre-prepared excuses at the ready – higher rates are a necessity to cover bad debts, not to mention the fact that the ‘current climate’ makes lending risky. Seemingly not THAT risky, as we don’t see any banks haemorrhaging losses at the moment.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott stood up on something quite high and roared: “The banks might have an excuse for squeezing credit card borrowers till the pips squeak if they were pouring the profits into backing small businesses or first and second-time homebuyers. But they're not. The banks' priorities are bonuses first and big borrowers second, with ordinary customers and taxpayers a bad third.” Which is arguably the bravest thing to come from the mouth of a Lib Dem for about nine months.

TOPICS:   Banking   Credit Cards   Economy

1 comment

  • Gunn
    Banks getting money for old rope, scandalous. I'm surprised some rich people just don't become a small bank, lend someone a couple of grand and get back 4 or 5 times the amount back in a year.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment