A survey by price comparison website, uSwitch, suggests that millions of consumers have been issued with credit cards over the past year without giving proof of their financial status.
uSwitch accused banks and retail stores of acting irresponsibly after its Credit Card Affordability Survey revealed that 84% of people questioned, who had been approved for credit cards over the past 12 months, were not asked for proof of income.
Fourteen per cent of those questioned said they had not even included their salary details on their application forms.
According to the research, the average limit given on a new credit card was £3,545, or 20% of the average net salary of £18,083.
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has refuted the accusations, claiming that its members lend responsibly and make careful checks on people’s finances before issuing credit cards.
The association points out that customers may not always be asked to provide hard evidence of their income and outgoings because checks are made through different means.
Angela Knight, chief executive designate of the BBA, said that the uSwitch was misrepresenting the facts and had got its sums seriously wrong.