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credit cards February 11, 2008

Posted by Bradley in : Uncategorized , trackback

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (this month is scam awareness month over there) has published a credit card comparisons report. It seems that 70% of UK consumers do not shop around for credit cards, and, as usual, wealthier people are likley to be more effective at looking after their financial interests. The report encourages the FSA to add coverage of credit cards to its moneymadeclear website, which would:

have the advantage of having almost complete market coverage, be run by a trusted organisation, and allow consumers to list products by their ‘cost of credit’ based on their typical usage.

The OFT recognises that establishing the service doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers would use it:

We also identified that a price comparison website was not a complete solution, however, as approximately 39 per cent of UK households do not have access to the internet. Additionally, there is a danger that consumers might not use the website if it is not sufficiently well advertised or sign posted.

Not a complete solution, indeed. The report suggests that older people and people in lower socio-economic groups are less likely to shop around – but the same people are also less likely to be active internet users. This solution is least likely to reach those who need it most.

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