Credit Card Delinquencies Lowest In 20 Years

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    credit-card-debtDelinquencies on bank-issued credit cards — on accounts that were 30 days or more overdue — fell to 2.41% in the first quarter of 2013, the lowest level since 1990, according to an American Bankers Association report released Tuesday. Delinquencies in 10 other lending categories, ranging from car loans to personal loans, also shrunk during the quarter, according to the report.

    “Many consumers have learned the hard lessons of recession, and have redoubled their efforts to keep debt at manageable levels,” James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist said in a statement.

    Delinquencies on bank-issued credit card accounts, which declined for six consecutive quarters, were less than half the record high of 5.01% set in 2009 and well below the 15-year average of 3.87%.

    In Europe things are about to change.European Union’s executive arm aiming to draw a line under a decade-long battle with payment groups such as Visa Europe and MasterCard. Under a draft European Commission plan, seen by the Financial Times, a ceiling would be introduced for charges on all consumer debit and credit card transactions, scaling back a multibillion-euro revenue stream for EU banks. The measure stops short of a full ban on debit-card fees, a more far-reaching intervention envisaged in earlier drafts. Even so, the assault on fees will be a setback for the payments industry, which has warned it will raise banking fees for consumers rather than cut retail prices.
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