Credit Card Brands

Posted by Kevin Pearce in Personal Finance on 12 September 2016 - Kevin is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

The smart consumer will take the time to research the market for the best credit card deals, whether it be for a balance transfer, purchase or some sort of points or rewards system.

Many factors shape the decisions we make and whether the lender will accept your application, but you may not be aware that you may not be applying to the company that you thought you were.

With mergers and takeovers, many banks continue to trade under their brand name while being operated by another. NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are a good example of this, with both being owned and operated by RBS Group.

As exciting as this is, exactly why does this matter?

Every lender will allocate a set amount of money that they may be willing to lend to an individual, which will be based on individual circumstances (income, existing debt and so on) and also how much is ‘in the pot’ (how much they have available to lend to new customers). This will affect whether or not you are accepted at all and, if you are, what your limit will be.

Going back to our example from earlier, RBS Group will not allow you to perform a balance transfer from a NatWest card to a Royal Bank of Scotland card as they will simply be moving money around within their own company, offering you another interest free period and therefore losing money on the interest they would otherwise make profit from.

This also means that you have gone from existing customer to a new customer and extended the amount of risk they are exposed to by giving you two products side by side. Unsurprisingly, they don’t want you to do this.

The solution is to arm yourself with the knowledge of who is behind the card you want to apply for and to ensure that they are unconnected with each other. The table below will assist you in this:

Credit Card Brand/Owned By

AA – Bank of Ireland

aqua – NewDay

Halifax – Bank of Scotland

John Lewis Financial Services – HSBC

Lloyds – Lloyds Bank

M&S Bank – HSBC

Natwest – RBS Group

Post Office – Bank of Ireland

RBS – RBS Group

Virgin Money - MBNA

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