1.4 million cut up their credit cards

Visa has revealed that the annual spending figures for its branded credit cards has fallen for the first time ever as 1.4 million Britons trade their credit for debit cards.

Visa, which now has 42 million cards in circulation in the UK, is far from worried however, as the country still took advantage of $85.2 billion of its credit in 2005.

In contrast, there has been a surge in the use of debit cards, with the number issued rising 21.3 per cent to 47 million in 2005.

Total spending on debit cards, which are directly linked to the sum available in a current account rather than a notional borrowing limit, rose 30.5 per cent to £187.6 billion.

To compare credit card figures across the industry, Mastercard is believed to be facing much the same decline in use as its rival.

The Visa figures come as two leading debt advice agencies revealed that they have experienced a record number of calls in the first weeks of 2006.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service said that it has received 1,100 calls for help a day, a 14 per cent increase on 2005. The National Debtline said that it received 13,000 calls between January 3rd – 14th.

© Adfero Ltd

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