The Credit Reporting Act 2013 (the Act) provides for the establishment of a Central Credit Register (the Register) by the Central Bank.
The Register is a national mandatory database of credit intelligence that will be maintained and operated by the Central Bank, in accordance with the provisions of the Credit Reporting Act 2013.
On 22 September 2016, the Central Bank published regulations governing the operation of the Register. These regulations set out the legal obligations on lenders to supply information to the Register and to use the Register when considering loan applications.
The collection of loan data from lenders will be implemented on a phased basis, with Phase 1 focusing on data collection for consumer lending and Phase 2 focusing on lending to businesses.
Data submissions by lenders for Phase 1 will commence from 30 June 2017 with all lenders required to submit data by 31 December 2017. It is expected that the Register will produce credit reports for individual lenders after 31 December 2017, subject to data quality assurance. A credit report will show a profile of a borrower’s credit accounts across all lenders, including repayment history, number of payments past due, and a record of inquiries made by lenders. Borrowers will be able to request their own credit report free of charge from the Central Bank, once every year.
The Register represents a significant new service by the Central Bank to lenders and borrowers. An effective Register can contribute to consumer protection and help improve financial stability. The Register will:
- Provide borrowers with an individual report detailing their credit agreements;
- Provide lenders with comprehensive information to support credit assessments;
- Provide the Bank with better insights into financial markets and support functions of the Central Bank such as prudential supervision and statistics.
The credit reporting obligations will apply to over 500 lenders, such as banks, credit unions, local authorities, NAMA, asset finance houses and money lenders.
Once operational it will be mandatory for lenders to:
- Submit information on credit agreements and payment histories to the Register; and
- Check credit information on the Register when considering credit applications for €2,000 or more.
The Central Bank has contracted with CRIF Ireland Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian company CRIF SpA, to build and operate the CCR.
Further information is available at www.centralcreditregister.ie