A proposed ruling which requires students under 25 to seek their parents' approval before applying for a credit card has been removed from a revised edition of the Code of Banking Practices. The action follows strong opposition from the local credit card industry after the draft code was released for public consultation in January. Industry practitioners argued that since a person of 18 could qualify to be a company director they should not be deprived the right to administer their own financial matters. The original draft code stipulates a card issuer should inform an applicant's parent of the details of the application - including the credit limit to be granted - if he is a full-time student under 25 and does not have proof of financial independence. Students have long been the banks' favourite target to market credit card products. In the second half of last year, there was an increase in the number of cases when student card holders were unable to repay their credit card bills. Some committed suicide while others were harassed by debt collection agencies which allegedly used intimidating methods to recover the loans. This gave rise to a public call for banks to stop issuing credit cards to those below 25. The revised code, prepared by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, has also set out more stringent restrictions regarding card renewal. The authority said card issuers should not automatically renew a card without giving the card holders a period of at least 30 days from the date of renewal to cancel the card without having to pay the renewal fee. This suggestion contrasts with the draft code which only requires issuers to provide notice to card holders when the card is to be renewed. The authority said a final version of the code would be released in a couple of weeks and practised by banks in due course.