Bangko Sentral revamps credit card restrictions

By , on August 23, 2014

Shutterstock photo
Shutterstock photo

Good news for all who have ever endured unwanted phone calls from pushy credit cards telemarketers. This annoying practice has now been banned by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, as part of its amendments to existing regulations to safeguard consumers from getting themselves into too much debt.

Among the regulations governing the issuance of credit cards, as stipulated in the BSP Manual of Regulation, is the long-standing prohibition that banks cannot send clients pre-approved credit cards. That is to say, credit cards for which the clients did not ask.

Additionally, new rules released this week now mandate that bank personnel are not allowed to call-up clients to convince them to apply for credit cards over the phone.

Banks and their subsidiaries are required to “exercise… proper diligence by ascertaining that applicants possess good credit-standing and are financially capable of fulfilling their credit commitments,” something which is virtually impossible to do via phone or mail.

To this end, the BSP amended Circular 845, which now qualifies unsolicited phone calls from banks as an activity “tantamount to act of issuing pre-approved credit cards.”

The expanded Circular clarifies that unsolicited calls by banks to inform clients of good standing that they were granted new credit cards, as well as the issuance of credit cards as a perk when clients avail of other financial services are both no longer allowed.

These new regulations are applicable to banks and their credit card-issuing subsidiaries.