We're calling on the financial regulator to take action on '0% balance transfer' credit card deals after discovering that only one in 20 people understands their true cost.
As part of our campaign we asked people how much a balance transfer would cost - only 4% of them got it right. Seven in 10 wrongly thought the transfer was free, even though we showed them the fee.
We also asked people to pick the cheapest credit card deal for someone making a balance transfer, but only a third picked the correct card.
Read more results from our '0% balance transfer' credit card research
We've shared this evidence with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requesting that balance transfer fees be included in its investigation into the credit card market. Ultimately, we want the FCA to take action, including the possibility of banning credit card firms from advertising deals as '0%' when there's a fee.
Our Executive Director Richard Lloyd said:
'Too many credit card deals appear to include sneaky fees designed to catch customers out. With millions now using credit cards to pay for essentials, it's vital that the Financial Conduct authority takes action to ensure consumers are well protected.'
If you too want the regulator to take action on balance transfer, sign our petition to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges.
In good news for our Sneaky Fees and Charges campaign, Barclays has announced that it has simplified its mortgage fees.
We're calling on George Osborne to use his Autumn Statement to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges on mortgages and make it easier for people to find the best deal.
Our latest research on the mortgage market uncovers the complex and unclear mortgage fees and charges people are facing. We found more than 40 fees and charges across the market, including set up fees, arrears fees and final repayment fees. Some providers use different names for the same or similar fees – for example a booking fee can also be called a reservation or application fee.
We want George Osborne, in his forthcoming Autumn Statement, to:
Given the limitations with APR, the Government and the FCA should explore other ways to present the total cost of a mortgage.
All compulsory fees payable throughout the deal period should be expressed as a total of fees and included in the advertised costs. It should also be clear which fees payable over the life of the mortgage are compulsory and which are not.
Non-product fees and charges that are incurred after the purchase of a mortgage should reflect lenders’ actual costs.
Our executive director, Richard Lloyd said:
'Homeowners could be paying over the odds for their mortgage because of the complex range of fees and charges that prevent them from finding the best deal.'
He added: 'The Chancellor must act now to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges and end mortgage confusion for consumers. The Government and the regulator should also explore better ways of presenting the total cost of mortgages.'
You can help by signing our petition and supporting our campaign.