Efforts to resolve Jersey credit card issues welcomed

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JERSEY’S Consumer Council has welcomed government moves towards a solution to the problems reported by Islanders in obtaining credit cards.

Following concern that many people in Jersey were finding it difficult to obtain or renew cards, government officers have met banks and credit reference agencies in a bid to resolve the issue.

More than 600 people responded to a Consumer Council survey about credit card applications, with the matter also being discussed at a recent meeting of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny panel.

Deputy Elaine Millar, Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for financial services, told the quarterly hearing that the absence of a centralised electoral register had been identified as one of the barriers to credit card operation in Jersey during recent discussions with banks.

Consumer Council chairman Carl Walker said: ‘Recent discussions I had with officers indicated that a solution or work-around for the banks, and the issues they have had with the electoral register, could be on the horizon.

‘This isn’t going to fix itself overnight, but the fact the government has listened to the concerns of Islanders and is taking positive steps to resolve this is very much welcomed by the Consumer Council.’

Mr Walker said credit cards offered vital consumer protection when purchasing goods that turned out to be faulty or not as described, as well as help recover any lost funds to those who may be the subject of fraudulent activity. Used carefully, they could also earn points or cash back for Islanders on everyday spending, he added.

Deputy Moz Scott, chair of the Scrutiny panel, said: ‘It is reassuring to hear that the issue of access to credit cards for Islanders is being treated as a priority and that the Assistant Chief Minister is working closely with the banks to address this issue.

‘The panel is keen to hear about progress being made to ensure that Islanders can maintain their access to this vital service.’

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