Consumer credit card trends in the UK are moving in similar directions to those in the United States, at least in terms of consumer spending. A year-end summary from the UK Cards Association stresses that consumer credit card debt is less than 4% of consumer debt outstanding, and that nearly two thirds pay their full balance each month. A particularly notable trend is that of credit card fraud:
Card fraud has rapidly fallen over the last decade. The research found that total card fraud losses in 2010 were the lowest since 2000 and there was a 9% decline further in the first half of 2011. The government has invested in a specialist police squad, known as the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit to resolve fraud issues over the last few years.
While card investigations may be pursued more rigorously, the UK, of course, also migrated to EMV cards during the last decade, helping reduce POS-based fraud. Similar to the CARD Act, in the United States, the UK has also enacted consumer reforms. According to Melanie Johnson, chair of The UK Cards Association,
“We have also delivered some very tangible benefits: giving customer’s peace of mind that the highest debt on their credit card will always be paid off first; introducing a new annual credit card statement which every cardholder will receive from now on; and improving the transparency of charges when buying, or spending in, foreign currency.”