The Bull Meter: Jack Layton on Canadian credit card fees - Macleans.ca

The Bull Meter: Jack Layton on Canadian credit card fees

Where is the NDP getting its data?

by

[mac_quote person=”Jack Layton” date=”March 29, 2011″]Under Stephen Harper, Canadians pay some of the highest credit card fees in the world.[/mac_quote]

[mac_bull score=”4″]

When we called the NDP media headquarters to ask about where the data to substantiate Layton’s statement came from, they directed us to a press release from the Competition Bureau. In it, the Bureau wrote: “Canada has among the highest credit card fees in the world,” but it was talking about acceptance fees, i.e. the amount that merchants are charged when processing credit card transactions. Layton’s speech, on the other hand, was all about Canadian households struggling to repay credit card debt, so logic would dictate he was talking about fees charged to consumers, not retailers.

We asked the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the Canadian Bankers Association, and Credit Canada whether these kinds of fees are really some of the steepest in the world. Their response? They don’t know. They said that they are not aware of any research that indicates how much those fees amount to on average, or that compares Canadian fees to those of other countries. So where did the NDP find their evidence (we asked again)? We’re still waiting to know, and it looks like we’re not going to get an answer.

Heard something that doesn’t sound quite right? Send quotes from the campaign trail to macbullmeter@gmail.com and we’ll tell you just how much bull they contain.

Sources:

Transcript of Jack Layton’s speech

The Competition Bureau on high merchants’ fees