Wed, Apr 08, 2009 - Page 11 News List

FSC to negotiate with DPP caucus on credit card rate cap

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it would continue to negotiate with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus on capping the maximum interest rate chargeable on credit and cash cards at 9 percent above the central bank’s interest rate for loans without collateral, or 12.5 percent at the current level.

The DPP yesterday boycotted the proposal after the financial regulator unilaterally reached a consensus with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

“The commission didn’t seek a consensus with the DPP before yesterday [Monday], but it will continue to communicate with its caucus,” commission Chief Secretary Lu Ting-chien (盧廷劼) told a media briefing yesterday.

Lu downplayed questions on why the commission had caved in and agreed with KMT legislators’ proposed rate cut, as it had previously proposed a top rate of 12 percent above the central bank’s rate.

The commission earlier sent 10 certified accountants as an independent third party to review the cost structures of banks’ credit-card businesses. The accountants are scheduled to produce a report later this month, which the commission originally hoped would help arbitrate on the rate policy.

Lu did not say why the commission had finalized the policy before the report had been produced. He said the commission would finalize the accountants’ review and that it still expected to publish a report later this month, even though several accountants have expressed their concern that it would be difficult to perform such a complicated review in this timeframe.

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