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China removes limits on credit card interest rates
Published on: 2021-01-13
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China’s central bank removed the upper and lower limits on credit card interest rates starting Jan. 1 as part of a strategic move to let markets set rates. The measure could foster greater competition between conventional banks and fintech rivals, lowering costs for borrowers, industry experts said.
 

Under the new policy, credit card issuers can set their own interest rates for unpaid monthly balances, also known as overdrafts. Previously, the upper limit was a daily interest rate of 0.05%, equivalent to an annualized rate of 18.25%, and the lower limit was 0.7 times the upper limit, or an annualized 12.775%.


The move is a signal that regulators are trying to help credit cards regain mainstream status in the consumer credit market, analysts said. Removal of the interest rate caps will have little impact on bigger credit card providers but is expected to benefit smaller issuers, a credit card executive said.


信用卡透支利率取消上下限


央行近日发布通知称,自2021年1月1日起,取消信用卡透支利率上限和下限管理。这意味着,从今年开始,信用卡透支利率可由发卡机构与持卡人自主协商确定。

至此,不少常使用信用卡“买买买”的消费者才关注到,信用卡透支利率原来还有上下限。


其实,相关改革早已开始。早年,各家银行信用卡的透支利率还都采用固定利率——日利率万分之五。2016年,央行发布通知,自2017年1月1日起,对信用卡透支利率实行上限和下限管理,上限为日利率万分之五,下限为日利率万分之五的0.7倍,这一区间相当于年化利率12.6%至18%。

时隔4年,信用卡透支利率管理全面“松绑”,是何考虑?


“为深入推进利率市场化改革”——央行的通知只有这短短一句话解释,但背后有深意。


近年来,信用卡市场日益发展,风险管理体系逐渐完善,推进信用卡利率市场化的条件已基本成熟。加之,当前新发放和存量贷款的定价基准转换已经顺利完成,进一步推动信用卡市场的利率改革已是水到渠成。

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