23 May 2009

New credit card limitations in US

6:46 am on 23 May 2009

Credit card companies in the United States will soon be bound by new restrictions on their ability to charge fees, or raise interest rates on existing borrowings.

President Barack Obama is to sign a new law on Friday which will come into full effect next February.

The changes have been described as "monumental and expensive" for card companies to implement.

The BBC reports the limits are deliberately aimed at preventing some people taking on too much personal debt.

Americans currently owe nearly $US1 trillion on their credit cards.

The new law is the first of a series designed to help stave off further financial crises.

In March, the British government said it would bring in legislation to stop card firms from raising the credit limit of customers who had not asked for it.

It also wants to ban firms from sending unsolicited credit card cheques to their customers.