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Awang Adek : Credit card bankrupts are not all young    
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Source: The Star Online

CONTRARY to common perception, banks report that not all credit cards users who were declar­ed bankrupt were young adults.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said credit card companies informed the ministry that there were no holder aged 25 or below who was declared bankrupt from 2007 to 2009.

He added that for credit card holders, aged between 26 and 30, only two people on average were declared bankrupt every year due to credit card debts.

“More than half of those who went bankrupt due to credit card debts for the three-year period were those aged over 45,” Dr Awang Adek said.

He said 0.01% or 405 out of 3.2 million principal cardholders went bankrupt last year because of debt.

“A total of 449 people out of the 3.2 million principal cardholders went bankrupt between January and September this year,” he said in his reply to Datuk Siringan Gubat (BN-Ranau).

He also said Bank Negara would ensure that credit card usage was kept under control under guidelines that educate users on reasonable use of cards.

Dr Awang Adek said the number of credit cards in Malaysia had declined from 10.8 million at the end of 2009 to 8.7 million presently, following the implementation of the RM50 tax imposed on owners of each principal credit card.

To a question from Azan Ismail (PKR-Indera Mahkota) on public complaints that they were sent credit cards which they didn’t ask for, Dr Awang Adek admitted that he shared a similar experience with Azan, who said two credit cards were sent to him although he did not apply for them.

The credit card companies also sent a bill to Azan asking him to pay the RM50 tax on the cards.

“I also experienced something similar but I returned the cards and I told the companies that I was not interested,” Dr Awang Adek said.

On another matter, Dr Awang Adek said debit card usage had increased by 63% annually on average from 2007 to 2009.

He added that the total number of debit cards in circulation as at the end of September was 33.8 million cards.

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