Government to tackle excessive card surcharges

Friday December 23rd, 2011

The Government is to announce that it will take action to tackle excessive card surcharges which are opaque, misleading and which prevent consumers getting a good deal.

Following the Office of Fair Trading’s recommendations, the Government will:

  • Ban excessive surcharges on all forms of payment, not just debit cards
  • Extend the ban across most retail sectors, not just transport
  • Become the first European country to act by implementing forthcoming European legislation early to ban this practice before the end of 2012

Businesses will not be able to load on excessive payment surcharges, but they will be able to add a small charge to cover their actual costs for using any particular form of payment.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban said:  “We’re leading the way in Europe by stopping this practice. The Government remains committed to helping consumers get a good deal in these difficult times.”

Consumer Minister Edward Davey said: “That is why we will consult on early implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive provision to protect consumers from excessively high credit and debit card charges.”

To take this forward, the Government will publish a consultation in the New Year setting out next steps.

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