Patt Morrison for August 2, 2010

Banks show sleight of hand with new (credit) card tricks

Mercer 9314

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Credit card companies are at it again

We aren’t very far removed from historic legislation banning certain billing practices and credit card issuers have already conjured up new ways to take your money. The Card Act was designed to help the customer in many ways, forcing card issuers to give customers more notice about interest-rate increases and restricting some of the more corrupt billing practices. Well it seems like that all could be for nothing. Card companies are quickly replacing all of the old fees, with new ones… literally creating a hellish race between regulators and credit-card companies called “let’s find the loopholes.” The Card Act was set to wipe out $390 million in fee revenue, so don’t think the banks we’re going to sit back quietly. No, they decided to increase the marketing for their “Professional Cards”, similar to corporate cards but with the terms of regular consumer cards. So you can have a credit line like a corporation has, with all of the lack of protection that a consumer card has. At the end of the day will we ever get the banks to play fair?

Guests:

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York’s 14th District; senior member of the House Financial Services Committee & Chair of the Joint Economic Committee

Nick Bourke, director of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project

Chi Chi Wu, a consumer credit lawyer and staff attorney, at the National Consumer Law Center


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