06-30-2008, 09:00 AM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Debit cards offered to children
Quote:A bank is sending children debit cards without requiring their parents' consent, it was reported today.
Lloyds-TSB now mails the cards directly to children as young as 11, enabling them to purchase goods on the internet without an adult's knowledge.
A father reportedly complained to the bank after his 15-year-old boy used his card to buy cheap cigarettes, Viagra and a fake adult ID online.
Lloyds-TSB insist it is up to parents to keep a check on how children use the cards and says there are safeguards to ensure they cannot be used on adult websites.
LibDem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable accused the bank of trying to "seduce" customers at an early age.
He told the Daily Mail: "It is deeply dispiriting. This is clearly motivated by short-term greed.
"You would have thought banks might have learned some lessons from their irresponsible lending on credit cards and mortgages.
"But now they seem to be compounding the problems by adopting the grossly irresponsible policy of encouraging youngsters to spend on these debit cards."
In the past, children aged 11 to 15 who hold current accounts were restricted to cards which could be used only in cash machines or at bank branches.
But the new cards are Visa-enabled, meaning they can be used anywhere that displays a Visa sign.
On its website, the bank openly advertises the card can be used for internet purchases.
It says: "Your new Visa debit card gives you a quick and easy way to get hold of your money.
"You can use it to pay for things in shop and online. You can also use it to take out cash. "As long as you have enough money, you can take out up to £300 a day."
Lloyds-TSB claimed it was simply falling into line with its rivals.
A bank spokesman told the Mail: "We wrote to customers under the age of 16, who previously had a cash machine card, to let them know they could have a debit card.
"We made it clear that they should let their parents know. Parents or guardians can ask for the cards to be blocked."
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