Legislation to tackle excessive card surcharges

The Government has announced that it intends to take action to tackle excessive card surcharges, specifically to:

1. Ban excessive surcharges on all forms of payment, not just debit card.

2. Extend the ban across most retail sectors.

3. 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.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban, said: “We want to make sure that consumers paying by card do not have to pay the excessively high surcharges being imposed on them by some airlines and other businesses. 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.”

The Government will publish a consultation this year setting out its next steps.

Access to the associated press release can be located via the following link:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_148_11.htm

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