Retailers call on credit card companies to put a stop to rising interest rates

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said despite the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) leaving the cash rate unchanged since August, credit card companies have been hiking up rates on their cards – leaving both retailers and consumers struggling to make the most of the festive season.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said according to data from the RBA, the average interest rate on a standard credit card went up five basis points to 19.6 percent in November, and the average interest rate on a low-rate card went up 10 basis points to 13.05 percent in October.

“A number of banks have increased the rate on their credit cards by up to 100 basis points, and in one case up to 225 basis points.

“With Christmas just around the corner, shoppers are spending more than usual but we also know that people are trying to save as much as possible too. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, household saving is now at the second highest level since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008.

“While the ARA is pleased to see household saving on the rise, we also encourage consumers to increase their discretionary spending in Australian stores and support their local retail sector. With interest rates lower than they have been for some time, now is the time for credit card companies to provide some breathing room for consumers and retailers alike,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $258 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.


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