Saturday, Jul 30, 2016
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Biggest banks' charge cards offered online fail new rules

PHILADELPHIA - None of the credit cards offered online by the 12 largest U.S. banks would meet requirements of new federal curbs on rates and fees, a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts said.

All of the cards surveyed used practices considered "unfair or deceptive" by the Federal Reserve, according to the report released yesterday by the Philadelphia nonprofit. The study examined almost 400 cards and compared terms for cards offered in July, 2009, and December, 2008.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which takes effect in stages, will require banks to apply payments to higher-rate balances first, limit rate increases, and ban practices such as "universal default," or raising rates based on a missed payment with another lender. Most of those rules are to begin Feb. 22; others took effect Aug. 20.

"Our research shows the most harmful practices the card act targets remain widespread," said Nick Bourke, manager of Pew's Safe Credit Cards Project.

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