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Royal Bank of Scotland increases credit card charges

Despite promises from the UK government that banks, were UK taxpayers hold significant stakes, would improve their terms for credit in the short to medium term, this does not appear to be the case at Royal Bank of Scotland. It's been revealed that NatWest (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group) and Royal Bank of Scotland have increased their credit card purchase rates from 16.9% to 19.9%. They are also offering the same rates for balance transfers, which is something of a surprise when you consider balance transfers are the perfect opportunity to attract new customers.

In a quirk of fate, after months of increasing credit card charges we are starting to see a significant number of banks and finance companies, where the government has no control, actually reducing their credit card rates for purchases and balance transfers. We have seen the likes of Barclaycard, Egg and the AA announce new 0% balance transfer offers with MBNA now offering a fixed rate of 5.9% a year for life for balance transfers from new customers. It is unclear why these two groups seem to be moving in different directions although it has to be said that the non-government controlled financial companies had been charging significantly more than the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Northern Rock for example.

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