Bank Credit-Card Fees Face New Scrutiny by U.S. Consumer Bureau

October 2, 2013
credit card news

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 limited lenders' ability to hike interest rates, curtailed late fees, and forced lenders to obtain customers' consent to apply over-limit fees. The law produced $4 billion in savings to U.S. consumers last year through these impacts, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which calculated that the total cost of credit on the cards is down by two percentage points.

However, the agency is now examining whether certain cards levy inappropriate fees and whether issuers adequately disclose terms and conditions, director Richard Cordray was to announce in Chicago on Oct. 2. "Deferred interest" cards, disclosures about card rewards programs, and payment grace periods are other sources of concern for the watchdog. "We will continue to use both our supervisory and enforcement authorities to protect consumers by rooting out unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices," Cordray pledged. CFPB action on credit cards could impact major lenders by capping fees they can collect or restricting marketing techniques.

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