Derek has welcomed the Labour Government's agreement with the credit and store card industry as good news for people in Halton, in a deal which will save Britain's 30 million credit card users millions of pounds and give consumers more control over their finances.
The agreement means that, in future, consumers' most expensive debt - like withdrawing cash on a credit card - will be able to be paid off more quickly. There will also be better repayment plans available to customers, a ban on credit limit and rate increases for people at risk of financial difficulties, and a right to sixty days to reject interest rates increases.
"This announcement is an important step forward for local peoples' rights in terms of managing their own finances, delivered by a Labour Government. It's estimated that these reforms will save the average credit card user around £224 a year and consumers UK-wide well over £300m a year. This is an important boost to individuals and families coming through the fiscal downturn.
I am pleased that Ministers have responded to representations from me and my colleagues on such matters. I spoke on this issue during the debate back in November on the Financial Services Bill."
Labour's Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan said:
"This is a big win for consumers and helps to put them back in the driving seat with their finances. When we asked the public what changes they wanted to see we discovered most people did not know the charges worked this way. They thought it was unfair and confusing, and they naturally wanted to pay off their most expensive debts first. This is a fair framework of rights and rules that makes sure easy and convenient lending for the majority doesn't lead to unmanageable debt for the minority who maybe in financial difficulty."