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Announcement by Hong Kong Association of Banks to implement third batch of credit card reform measures

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) welcomes the announcement by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) today (March 2) that the industry is going to implement the third, and the last, batch of credit card reform measures which will further improve consumer protection and promote good credit card practices.

     The third batch of nine measures cover practices in relation to interest rate increases, over-the-limit transactions, fees and charges, and disclosure of terms and conditions.  They aim at promoting fair and responsible business practices by credit card issuers.  Customers will benefit directly from measures that reduce interest and fee payments (e.g. restriction on retroactive rate increases and no multiple fees for late payment and returned payment).  The increased disclosure will also facilitate customers to compare products/services among banks and make informed decisions.

     Three of the third batch measures are expected to be implemented this year, while the other six, which require significant system changes on the part of card issuers, will be implemented within next year.

     The Executive Director of the HKMA, Ms Meena Datwani, said:  "The HKMA is pleased that the implementation of the third and last batch of credit card reforms in Hong Kong will bring Hong Kong in line with the UK and the US in terms of good credit card practices.  Efforts made by the industry in this initiative also show their commitment to further enhance the fairness and transparency of credit card operations.  We will continue to work with the industry to promote consumer protection and good banking practices."

     The third batch is the last of the three batches of measures under discussion with HKAB to enhance credit card practices, having regard to credit card reforms in the UK and US.  The first two batches of 22 measures were announced by HKAB in the first half of 2011.  Most of them have been implemented last year while some of them, which require significant systems enhancement, are scheduled to be implemented this year.

Ends/Friday, March 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 22:47


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