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Credit and debt: Government wants your views

Call for evidence to ensure public get a fair deal

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You can use your card to pay for items online and in person, although be mindful of the security risks posed by web transactions

Consumer Minister, Edward Davey, and Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban, today launched a joint call for evidence into how people can get a fairer financial deal.

As part of the government’s review into consumer credit and personal insolvency, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Treasury want to establish how people can get a fairer deal when borrowing money, and if they can manage their borrowing better. The review will also examine how the government can improve the help available to consumers who run into financial difficulty.

Have your say on debt and credit

The call for evidence invites people to have a say on how the existing consumer credit and personal insolvency regimes might be improved. It seeks views on a number of coalition commitments, including:

  • tackling unfair bank charges
  • introducing a seven-day cooling off period for store cards
  • introducing a power for a regulator to cap interest rates on credit and store cards
  • requiring credit card providers to make electronic statements available to enable consumers to judge whether an alternative credit card would provide better value for money

Consumer Minister Edward Davey said: ‘Well-informed, empowered consumers are central to our vision for how a credit market between customers and lenders should work. I want to encourage both to take responsible decisions and to strengthen protection where necessary – particularly for the most vulnerable.

‘If things go wrong people face a confusing array of debt remedies, so I also want to examine how the existing insolvency regime can be made to work better.’

To give the government feedback on its proposals, visit the BIS consumer credit website. To have your say about how credit card companies charge their customers, join in the Which? Conversation on credit card fees.

Following the call for evidence, the Government plans to publish its proposals from the results of this review in 2011.

Expert debt and credit advice from Which?

For more detail on getting the best deal on credit, read the free Which? guide Finding the best ways to borrow. If you’re applying for credit, we scour the whole market to compile our Best Rate credit cards, mortgages and personal loans.

If you’re struggling with your finances, read our guide How to deal with debt.

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