TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has admitted the Government cannot stop banks hiking credit card interest rates.
Tens of thousands of bank customers have been hit with a crippling interest rate hike on their credit cards - just days before Christmas.
The increase of up to 4pc on Bank of Ireland credit cards will heap more debt on shoppers who have already stretched themselves on festive spending.
Mr Kenny said bank credit cards rates is an area "that is not regulated by Government".
"This is very difficult for many people who have run up huge bills on Christmas cards," he said.
The Taoiseach said the Government only had a 15pc shareholding in the bank.
"I don't like this decision made by the bank three or four days before Christmas. It's not easy for people not to run up bills on credit cards," he said.