Lender's timing only makes it worse
Published 19/12/2012 | 05:00
THERE are only a few shopping days left to Christmas but Bank of Ireland is making sure it gets its pound of flesh.
The bank has hiked its credit card rates just in time to make sure it profits from the last-minute shopping rush.
By raising rates by up to 4pc the bailed-out bank has ensured it will get a nice little windfall in the new year as the festive bills come home to roost for its customers.
Retailers have been reporting thriving business as consumers loosen the purse strings for one last blowout before the latest round of austerity bites.
But with January heralding a raft of new budgetary pain from increased PRSI to child benefit cuts, it's certain that many consumers won't be able to pay off their Christmas credit card bill promptly – meaning the interest repayments will quickly add up.
Research has shown that it can take up to six months to clear Christmas debt and even more penal interest rates could make that even harder for many.
The bank has a cutesie little message on its website asking "how can we help?"
Not raising its credit card rates to almost 20pc for some customers would be a start.