§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the case for introducing interest-rate limits on credit cards. 
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
I have been asked to reply.
The Government are not yet persuaded of the benefits of introducing interest rate ceilings on any products. We are concerned that their introduction might cause detriment to consumers and competition, for example by encouraging imposition of additional fees and charges, that some lenders might exit the market denying some consumers access to credit, or that rates might gravitate towards the ceiling.
We have, however, commissioned research on how interest rate caps operate in other countries. We expect to publish this research in the spring of this year, and will then make a decision on the case for introducing a ceiling.