Interesting article in the The Guardian today regarding some of the UK’s biggest credit card companies, who are slashing credit limits for some of their account holders without warning.
Last year, internet bank Egg angered customers when it suspended 161,000 cards - with only 35 days’ notice, effectively cutting off all use of credit for these borrowers. According to Egg, it wanted to reduce its exposure to people with poor credit records, however it transpired that many angered card holders said they could see no reason for their plastic to be cancelled.
Nevertheless, other financial institutions have since followed suit.
Crazy behaviour like this is only going to continue as the recession bites and banks react in what will inevitably be a knee-jerk fashion. Getting a loan is even more important at times like this and so it should be easier not harder. We here at www.247Moneybox.com provide fast, efficient, short-term loans with a minimum of fuss because we know speed and convenience count.
The article goes on to quote Observer Cash reader James Gardner, who was recently caught out by Barclaycard’s credit-cutting policy. ‘I had just repaid £1,500 of my Christmas spending and was trying to pay a £275 vet’s bill when my card was declined,’ he says. ‘I rang Barclaycard, who said my limit had been reduced from £2,000 to £260. No warning, nothing.’
Another Observer Cash reader, Della Parrish, had her credit limit cut without warning by First Direct. ‘After I retired, I set up a First Direct bank account and credit card to keep my newly set up consultancy activities separate from my pension, which goes into my NatWest bank account,’ she says. ‘The limit on the First Direct credit card was £6,900, but this has just been reduced to £3,100 without prior notice. First Direct said it was because I had not spent up to the £6,900 limit.’
What’s even more worrying in our opinion is that according to Apacs, the credit card companies’ trade association, a code of best practice on reductions to customers’ credit limits doesnâ€™t exist. The article quotes Jemma Smith, a spokeswoman for Apacs: ‘Limits may be reduced for reasons relating to an individual’s behaviour, such as frequent withdrawals of cash or spending over the limit. Or it may be - particularly in current times - because a company has taken a policy decision to decrease its exposure across a group of customers.’
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