At the recent Finance Expo and in subsequent discussions, many of our clients expressed an interest in participating in Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR). To get the most out of the supply of CCR data, there is a process you need to go through NOW – even if you do not intend to be part of the CCR regime for some months to come.
A key principle of CCR is Reciprocity – you can only access other CCR data in line with what you actually provide. To participate in CCR you need to disclose to your clients that you will be supplying data to Credit Bureaus, and you can only supply data to the Credit Bureaus from the Date of Disclosure onwards. Under the concept of Reciprocity, this therefore means that you can also only see CCR data from other sources from the Date of Disclosure onwards. For example, if you notified your clients in August 2017, you can only submit and consume CCR from August onwards – even if there is CCR data held for a client from another source dated prior to August 2017.
Your Terms and Conditions on your Disclosure Documents need to advise that you are intending to share CCR data with the Bureau. An appropriate consent clause could be worded along the following lines:
"Credit agencies: In respect of us providing a credit facility and undertaking periodic reviews or for the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism Act 2009, you authorise us to make credit references and other enquiries within our normal procedures. For this purpose, we may seek from any such source information concerning you.
You also authorise the collection and disclosure of all information relevant to your accounts including repayment history information from/to any credit reporting agency. Credit reporting agencies may use information disclosed by us to update their credit reporting database, and disclose any information that they hold about you to their own customers as permitted under the Credit Reporting Privacy Code. In addition, we may use any service provided by our credit reporting agencies to receive updates of the information it holds about you.
In the event that you are in default under any credit facility from us, we are authorised to disclose all relevant information about you, to and for the use by, credit reporting agencies, debt collection agencies and law firms."
While the above should be suitable for new clients you must also notify existing clients. As of March 2017, the legal requirement to notify your customers of your intention to move to CCR is no longer in place as long as your existing consent clause enables the sharing of CCR data. However, if your existing consent clause does not enable the sharing of CCR data, then a separate notification to your existing client is generally required.
To ensure you get the most out of your CCR experience, we suggest you you make the changes as necessary to ensure you can upload and receive as much CCR data as possible.
As always – this notice does not constitute legal advice and you should always seek independent legal advice on your specific situation.