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Credit Reference Agencies – proper regulation and accountability

Comment 20th June 2020

The Credit Reference Agencies seem to be a wholly unregulated industry yet there activities have a direct bearing on questions involving human rights, namely Data Protection and the right to respect for privacy.

 

They should be brought within a proper transparent and controlled regulatory framework with very clear rules as to the operation of their activities and with direct access by person aggrieved.

Why does this matter?

The unfettered use of the Credit Reference Agencies by the Finance industry is often unfair.  It is often used as a retaliatory measure.  Negative credit file entries are often duplicated, are often disproportionate to the matter in issue.  Credit file entries have the same effect on an individual’s financial life whether that entry has been placed on the register for a £5 debt or for a £5000 debt, and even if the £5 debt was the result of some innocent error or was paid off only a day or so late.  Entries are placed on the register for at least 6 years regardless of their value and where debts are sold on, a fresh entry may be placed upon the register in respect of the same debt and which may last a further 6 years.  The result is that there may well be successive overlapping entries relating to the same debt and which may continue well beyond the 6 year period.

There seems to be no accountability and no proper process for complaint and no independent scrutiny.

This amount to a form of extra-judicial justice and a form of extra-judicial punishment which is unfair and which is in complete opposition with an idea of human rights as they relate to respect for privacy.


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