This policy statement sets out our final rules and guidance to help customers in persistent credit card debt and to require firms to intervene earlier to identify customers at risk of financial difficulties.
This policy statement responds to the feedback we received to CP17/43 which sought views on measures to address persistent credit card debt and to require credit card firms to use the data available to them to identify customers at risk of financial difficulties and take appropriate steps.
It also explains the changes we have made to our proposals and sets out the final rules and guidance on persistent credit card debt and earlier intervention.
The new rules we have made are intended to rebalance incentives so that both firms and customers are encouraged to avoid credit card debt becoming persistent, and customers who cannot afford to repay more quickly are given help to do so.
They are part of a package of measures we have introduced to implement the findings of our credit card market study. With the publication of this policy statement, this package is now largely in place.
These new rules are expected to save billions of pounds for millions of customers – we expect customer savings to peak at between £310m and £1.3bn a year in lower interest charges – and will come into effect in 6 months’ time.
Who this applies to
- firms that offer credit cards to consumers
- consumers who hold credit cards, specifically those who carry a balance over a long period of time without making significant repayments, and customers at risk of financial difficulties
- firms that provide debt advice
It will also be of interest to trade bodies representing credit card firms, consumers and consumer representative organisations.
What you need to do
The final rules and guidance we have made, for insertion in the Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC), are in Appendix 1 of the policy statement. These come into force on 1 March 2018 and firms have 6 months, so until 1 September 2018, to be fully compliant.