American Express stops pension payments in UK

CREDIT card giant American Express has become the latest firm to stop making contributions to the pensions of UK employees after it suspended payments to a fund operated for its British staff.<br /><br />The firm said it has made the controversial move to stop matching the contributions made by the some 6,000 workers for the next 18 months, as part of a drive to cut $2.6bn (&pound;1.6bn) of costs.<br /><br />The firm&rsquo;s employees in the US, where pension cuts are more commonplace, stopped receiving contributions in March.<br /><br />This came as the firm said yesterday that the growth in credit card defaults by US consumers was less-than-expected in the second quarter and could be lower still in the second half, after a surprising drop in June &ndash; the first drop in over a year.<br /><br />American Express joined JPMorgan Chase &ndash; the largest issuer of Visa-branded credit cards &ndash; and Discover Financial Services in reporting lower defaults in June, in a sign that the credit position of US consumers is not deteriorating as rapidly as feared.