Clampdown on horrible, cash-sucking store cards on the way

26 November 2011

PF-storecard-1_1784861c With money becoming rarer than hen’s teeth and more and more of us wising up as to what’s a good deal and what’s a rank bad one, fewer of us are piling debt on to high-interest store cards.

Soon there’ll be even fewer reasons to use store cards as a new set of rules are coming, only SIX YEARS after the Competition Commission decided that the public were being ripped of by £55m every year.

New rules coming soon include…

* A ban on instant discounts and free gifts as sweeteners to get customers to sign up (or at least within the first seven days after they’ve signed up).

* A ban on stores paying staff commission for promoting and selling the cards.

* Standardised training for all staff who promote and sell cards, in an attempt to put an end to mis-selling.

But it could be said that the new rules don’t go far enough, and calls for a cap on the maximum interest rate allowed on store cards have been ignored by ministers. Even though the base interest rate is still a measly 0.5%, Argos, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Homebase, Wallis and Warehouse’s store cards all have a representative APR of 29.9%. The government say that they’re concerned that people might be priced out of the market and turn to nasty, vicious loan sharks instead. Which, to be frank, is about as weak an excuse as you’re ever likely to hear.



  • Kevin
    Although of course noone is forcing people to take them, just as noone is making you walk across a busy road without looking
  • Dick
    £55m is about a quid per person in the UK per year. How much did it cost for them to deliberate for six years and come up with those rules?

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