Credit card reforms 'should be applied to existing plastic'

Greens MP Adam Bandt has stated that the new credit card reforms set to come into force next July should be extended to all plastic.

Under the new legislation, banks will be prohibited from sending unsolicited missives offering credit limit extensions on all cards issued after this date.

However, Mr Bandt told Business Day that this should apply to existing cards as well in a drive to combat credit card debt.

"By applying the bill to new transactions and payments, the scope of the protections can be significantly widened to existing account holders," he said.

Under the terms of the new laws, banks will also be banned from issuing fees to customers who exceed their limits.

Earlier this month, chief executive of the Australian Bankers' Association Steven Munchenberg asserted that the reforms are excessive.

He suggested that the decision to alter legislation was made without it first being established that there was a significant problem to be addressed.

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