February 3, 2020 / 7:32 AM / 21 days ago

UK watchdog warns against "blanket" suspension of credit cards

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Credit card firms must review how they treat customers that have been in persistent debt to help them save up to 1.3 billion pounds a year in lower interest charges, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

New rules came into force in March 2018 to help customers that have, over a period of 18 months, paid more in interest, fees and charges than they have repaid on the principal balance on their card.

The FCA said in a letter to CEOs of credit card firms on Monday that following a review of the rules, it was concerned that firms are proposing repayments options which are not reasonable, and even planning "blanket" suspension of credit cards.

"Where we identify poor practice, we will take swift action to ensure customers are being treated fairly and our rules are being followed," Philip Salter, director of retail lending at the FCA, said in the letter.

Reporting by Huw Jones

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