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Barry Stamp

Barry is a Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. He has a degree in Statistics and Business Economics from the Open University. Barry writes mostly on news from the worlds of banking and mortgages.

Barclaycard still dominant in credit card market

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Up against many competitors, Barclaycard has retained the largest share of the credit card market, according to respondents of our 2019 Banking and Credit Card Survey. 17% of those polled said that Barclaycard is the card they use most, polling almost twice as many as its nearest rival.

Now in its 15th year, the survey is the longest running and most comprehensive of its type, enabling us to help our customers to be better informed when making a choice about a new credit card or if thinking of changing banks.

In terms of customer service, Nationwide takes top slot with 95.7% of its respondents ranking the service they get from their card as either excellent or very good. Over 6% of our survey respondents told us that they .....

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Unintended consequences

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When it was lawful to include gender in a credit scorecard, it was universally included. This is because gender is predictive of the risk of default, indeed at the time it was ranked in the top 6 of all predictive characteristics.

As the machinations of scorecards are kept very secret, only very few knew exactly how gender affected a credit score. The generally held view, never challenged, was that the inclusion of gender in credit scorecards and in other automated decision processes was damaging to women. Even government regulators at the time believed that the existing decisioning systems prejudiced women.

So when equality law required the removal of gender from scorecards, the truth came out. Women are more discipline .....

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20 Aug 2019 by Barry Stamp Credit Score
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If it ain’t broke…

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The United States has one of the best credit reporting systems in the World. It seems hard for some Americans to believe that, given that the Federal Trade Commission has issued a congressionally mandated study on credit report accuracy that found that one in five consumers found an error on at least one of their three credit reports.

Four in five of those errors were corrected or modified once reported to the credit reference agencies. The errors do not appear to be material as the FTC reports that nine in ten of those modifications and corrections resulted in no change to their credit scores.

This has led to some astonishing claims that the US credit reporting system in the US and/or the credit scoring systems used in th .....

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6 Aug 2019 by Barry Stamp Credit Reports
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Identity fraud ad banned

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The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Royal Mail TV ad which aimed to increase the awareness of identity fraud. The TV ad shows a bank robbery by balaclava hooded thieves brandishing baseball bats. Instead of picking up cash lying on the ground, the robbers sought personal information from terrified bank customers under threat of violent force.

The leading media agency, Saatchi, was behind the ad, which Clearcast had approved and had recommended was to be shown only after the 9pm watershed, which it duly was. Seven complaints were received by the ASA, which assessed the Royal Mail’s comprehensive arguments to justify the ad, but concluded that the "ad was likely to cause fear and distress to viewers, in particular to .....

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16 Nov 2017 by Barry Stamp Identity Theft
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Help for those affected by the Equifax data breach

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Dropping on many doormats right now are letters from Equifax advising those people in the UK who have had their personal data stolen.

This follows a recently discovered cyber-attack on Equifax in the US, which resulted in a hacker gaining access to a very limited amount of personal information (compared to the extent that might have been lost) since May 2017.

The letter gives those affected a number of free services to enable them to check their credit reports for any sign of suspicious activity since the malicious hack took place.

Anyone receiving such a letter may be alarmed initially by the possibility of identity fraud, but at least they have been directly alerted. So many data breaches in the past – notably HMR .....

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26 Oct 2017 by Barry Stamp Identity Theft
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