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« January 12, 2003 - January 18, 2003 | Main | January 26, 2003 - February 1, 2003 »

January 22, 2003

New York Times: Some banks encourage overdrafts

Alex Berenson reports that "at least 1,000 banks are encouraging customers with low balances to overdraw their checking accounts, allowing the banks to skirt credit laws and collect billions of dollars in new fees."

January 20, 2003

BBC: Online shopping a Christmas hit

The BBC reports on a Nielsen survey that says about 60 percent of the UK online users shopped online this Christmas season.
The survey shows that buying online is now a part of everyday life for millions of people, a spokesman said. It also suggests the UK has the most web literate shoppers in Europe, with nearest rival Germany registering just over 10 million visits over the same period. Global bookselling giant Amazon topped the Nielsen chart, with Argos claiming the title of the most visited UK High Street retailer on the web for the second year running. The top ten includes the highest number of UK High Street retailers since the survey began, a Nielsen spokesman said.

January 19, 2003

Sunday Times (Australia): Credit card fees rise by up to 30 per cent

Michael Horan reports on consumer credit card fee increases in Australia.
Research by leading financial monitors infochoice.com.au for The Sunday Telegraph shows five banks, including three of the "big four", increased fees by up to 50per cent since July. It also reveals the four major banks cut credit card interest rates by as little as 0.75 per cent despite an official rate cut of two per cent. The new fees could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of simply having a credit card. Commonwealth Bank customers will now have to pay an annual fee of $59 -- up from $45 -- to use a "Classic" Visa, MasterCard or Bankcard. Gold card users will have to pay $114 -- up from $82 -- for the privilege of extra benefits including a rewards program and a higher limit.

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