Credit Cards Celebrate 40th Anniversary

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Thursday the 29th of June marked the 40th anniversary of the credit card in Britain. Barclaycard launched its first card on June 29th 1966 to just over one million customers. Today it can claim 11.2 million holders, contributing to the 32 million credit cards in use in the UK, with the average credit card carrier holding 2.4 cards. However, whether the anniversary is cause for celebration or regret remains open to question, with many blaming credit cards for Britain’s spiraling levels of consumer debt, now nearing 1.2 trillion. Mike Naylor, principal researcher at Which?, claims credit cards have contributed to the increasingly social acceptance of borrowing money, with people often requiring a debt consolidation loan when their finances become unmanageable. “There is a real danger that people are borrowing more and more and saving less. There are thousands of people at real financial risk,” he said. “Undoubtedly people need to take responsibility for their borrowing.” Mr Naylor called on consumers to take responsibility for their borrowing, although acknowledged that they are battling against large companies with seductive offers. However, he argued that the easy-credit culture in the UK makes it too easy for people to get into extreme debt, with recent figures suggesting that the numbers battling with high levels of debt have doubled. Additionally, politicians are increasingly waking up to the growing need to tackle Britons’ personal debts. The Liberal Democrats have spoken out to describe debt as a key issue in social and economy policy, as the latest figures show that the number struggling with credit card and loan repayments continues to escalate. Vince Cable, Lib Dem economic spokesman, said that the need to tackle debt would increasingly feature in economic and social policy. “Millions of people are struggling to maintain debt service and are being hit by the double whammy of rising unemployment and the warnings that interest rates will rise,” he warned. Mr Cable was commenting in response to last week’s figures from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), which showed that the number of people in extreme debt has doubled. Tackling the problem requires consensus among the financial industry and voluntary organisations on constructive initiatives, Mr Cable argued. Meanwhile, many indebted Britons have increasingly found that debt consolidation loans enable them to manage their financial commitments. Adfero Ltd Credit Cards Celebrate 40th Anniversary

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・ Credit Cards Celebrate 40th Anniversary

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