Credit cards Updated:
Credit card companies have announced new principles designed to help borrowers struggling in the current economic downturn.
Lenders met with consumer affairs minister Gareth Thomas and business secretary Peter Mandelson two weeks ago, following findings that some consumers had been treated unfairly.
And the government has now announced an agreement designed to provide relief, with companies agreeing to give at least 30 days notice of an increase to rates.
Those who have their rate upped will be offered an alternative, as well as being given the chance to close the account and pay off debt at the existing rate.
Mr Thomas said he is "pleased" by the measures, adding: "These commitments will help families manage their finances and cope with repaying their debts."
The meeting with credit card companies came after Moneyfacts.co.uk found that the average interest charged on such forms of finance is now 17.2 per cent.
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