Virgin Money overturned its decision to prevent certain customers from making further purchases on their credit cards, saying it listened to comments and decided that this was not the right time to make the changes.
The bank also apologized for any additional concerns and inconvenience this may have caused.
This week it emerged that some customers had received emails stating that their credit card spending had been frozen following a review of user accounts. Virgin Money declined to comment on the number of customers affected, but it is understood that up to 32,000 customers were informed by email on Tuesday that their accounts were blocked with immediate effect and that they could not perform further shopping.
Virgin Money said on Friday that it had re-opened purchases for all affected credit cards after revisiting the old credit limits. The changes will be applied automatically to take effect from Saturday morning and customers should take no action.
Previous emails were sent at a time when many households were trying to make ends meet on reduced incomes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) encourages lenders to put in forbearance measures to assist customers.
Virgin Money previously stated that, as a responsible lender, it should review its accounts regularly, as did other card providers. But MoneySavingExpert.com said earlier this week that it hoped Virgin Money would reconsider any credit limit cuts that could leave customers vulnerable and unable to meet the cost of living in the short term.
Virgin Money said a process had been put in place for customers to request reopening of their accounts if necessary, and a number of customers had been in touch and had their cards reactivated for purchases.
Fergus Murphy, group personal banking director at Virgin Money, said on Friday: “After making changes to a number of credit card accounts to reduce the risk of unsustainable customer debt, we recognize that was not the right time to make these changes. We have listened and have now overturned the decision. We are sorry for the additional concern and inconvenience this may have caused, especially at this time. “