Four of the UK’s leading providers of credit cards and homeowner loan deals have agreed to share customer data to tackle rising tides of bad debt.
Barclaycard, the Co-operative Bank, Egg and Abbey have said they will work together to compare credit cards’ details and compare loans’ information to determine which customers have the best rate at repaying credit.
The four will also compare loans’ and compare credit cards’ information on which customers only pay off the minimum amount every month, regularly withdraw cash or regularly use balance transfer options.
“It should prevent people paying off one card by applying for another and should help lenders spot consumers on the brink of financial difficulty,” homeowner loan and best rate analyst James Jones told Reuters.
“I’d be surprised if other lenders didn’t follow suit as this is clearly something that’s going to help.”
The Consumer Credit Counselling Service, which offers support and advice to people seeking help with their debts said that the average amount owed by people they see on homeowner loans and credit cards has reached £28,600 and is still rising.
“Extreme levels of debt have become a phenomenon of the last couple of years and these people tend to have a huge number of credit cards,” said CCCS spokeswoman Frances Walker.
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