The Department of Finance has today (29th August 2012) published the General Scheme of the Credit Reporting Bill 2012. The Bill will provide for the establishment and operation of a statutory Central Credit Register (CCR) system in Ireland.
Commenting on the publication of the General Scheme of the Bill, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan, T.D. stated:
“The establishment of a mandatory credit reporting and credit checking system, regulated and operated by the Central Bank of Ireland, will ensure that lenders have access to the most accurate and up to date information regarding a borrowers total exposure.
This provision will benefit both borrower and lender and will ensure that lenders are in a position to make informed lending decisions.
This establishment of a Central Credit Register will also help support policies to combat over-indebtedness.”
Notes to Editors
- The legislation builds upon the recommendation of the report of Inter-Agency Working Group on Credit Histories which found that:
- Credit reporting systems form but one part of a creditors’ underwriting process but when effective they have the ability to increase significantly the capacity of lenders to make more informed lending decisions and provides a valuable repository of information to monitor systemic risk and support prudential and regulatory supervision
- The Irish credit reporting system does not provide lenders and the Central Bank of Ireland with the level of coverage required to assess properly total borrower exposures and to identify systemic risk
- The Report was recently published on the Department of Finance website as part of the public consultation phase which commenced on 7th June 2012.
- Drafting has commenced on the bill and the bill will published by the end September 2012. The publication of the bill by end-September is also a commitment under the EU/IMF Programme
Further details on the General Scheme of Bill
- The Scheme contains 33 draft heads which provide for a range of measures centred on the establishment and operation of a statutory Central Credit Register (CCR). The following is a summary of the main provisions:
- The database will be owned by the Central Bank and the Bank will be responsible for the operation of the CCR.
- There will be mandatory reporting of a comprehensive range of credit information by credit providers.
- Credit providers will be required to meet specified reporting standards in this regard (e.g. formats, timelines etc.)
- Credit providers will be required to make mandatory credit checks with the CCR for all credit applications above a low value monetary threshold.
- Access to the credit information held on the Register, other than information contained in a person’s or entity’s own credit file, will be controlled and restricted to those who are registered by the Bank to access data for specific purposes.
- The legislation also proposes that credit lending information in relation to loans provided by NAMA and local authorities be captured on the CCR. This will enhance the quality of the information held on the register.
- The legislation includes provisions relating to access to data and security measures
- The legislation proposes to extend the role of the Data Protection Commission to deal with complaints relating to micro enterprises and SME (with a turnover of less than €3) in respect of the Credit Register to ensure that the data held regarding an enterprise is accurate