Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Egg complaints come to the boil

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Credit card company Egg, owned by Citibank, is being asked to apologise to thousands of customers whose credit cards have been cancelled.

Labour MP Nigel Griffiths, a former consumer affairs minister, is meeting Ian Kerr, the chief executive of Egg.

The bank wrote to 161,000 card holders earlier this month, telling them they were a poor credit risk.

Mr Kerr will be accused of dumping the customers because they paid their debts in full and so were not profitable.

"Egg has got a lot of explaining to do," said Mr Griffiths.

"If you want to get rid of customers who are not bad credit risks but who you just don't make money out of, then you should make a charge for your card," he said.


When the Egg letters first went out, they provoked a deluge of complaints from people annoyed that they had been described as a bad risk, when in fact, they said, they paid off their cards every month.

They made a mistake, we need an apology, and compensation for wasted credit agency checks
Nigel Griffiths MP

"One letter I received was from someone in the City who said last year he made 1m, he has 100,000 worth of shares in Citibank group that owns Egg, and he's absolutely outraged that he should be told he is any sort of credit risk," said Mr Griffiths.

Despite the torrent of bad publicity, Egg has denied that it has acted in a devious fashion to get rid of some customers from whom it was not making any money.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has already been asked by Mr Griffiths to investigate the complaints, because it issues consumer credit licences to credit card companies.

"Egg's job now is to prove they have an honest intention in this," he said.

"They made a mistake, we need an apology and compensation for wasted credit agency checks," he added.

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