WASHINGTON, DC — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a damning new analysis today, finding that over the over the last decade major credit card companies dramatically hiked their APR margins (the difference between the average APR and the prime rate) to an all-time high in order to pad industry profits. The CFPB found the higher APR margin “drove about half of the increase in credit card rates over the last decade,” costing the average cardholder over $250 in 2023 while credit card companies raked in an extra $25 billion in interest revenue.  

There’s no reason other than greed for credit card company CEOs to price-gouge Americans with interest rates that vastly outpace federal rates. These companies could still turn a hefty profit without preying upon vulnerable families with usury-style interest rates, but they’d rather make a small group of wealthy investors even richer."

Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick

“It’s another reminder why everyday families need a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to keep the credit card industry honest and protect more consumers from falling into the debt trap,” added Zelnick.

The findings follow the CFPB’s recent report showing the 25 largest credit card issuers charged customers interest rates of 8 to 10 points higher than small- and medium-sized banks and credit unions – needlessly costing cardholders $400 to $500 more every year. Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled two proposals, the first capping overdraft fees charged by banking institutions and credit unions as low as $3, and the second banning non-sufficient fund fees. 



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