Welcome to Accis

We are the voice of organisations responsibly managing data to assess the financial credibility of consumers and businesses.

ACCIS is the voice of organisations responsibly managing data to assess the financial credibility of consumers and businesses. Established as an association in 1990, ACCIS brings together more than 40 members from countries all over Europe as well as associates and affiliates across the globe.

Key Themes

What is a Credit Reference Agency?

As an industry, we enable individuals and business to take informed decisions and conduct secure, trustworthy and efficient financial operations.

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What is a credit reference agency?
A credit reference agency, also known as a credit bureau, is an organisation that collects and maintains information about your credit history and financial behaviour. Credit reference agencies gather information from a variety of sources, including lenders, credit card companies, and other financial institutions, and compile this information into credit reports.
What is the main function of a credit reference agency?
The main function of a credit reference agency is to provide credit reports to lenders and other credit providers, which they can use to assess your creditworthiness and ability to repay debt. By providing accurate and reliable information, credit reference agencies help establish trust between lenders and consumers.
When were credit reference agencies created?
Credit reference agencies have been in existence for a considerable period of time. The first Credit Reference Agencies were founded in 1830 in New York and in Europe at the end of the 19th century.
What kind of data is held by credit reference agencies?
Credit reference agencies hold information, such as your identification data (name, date of birth, address,
and a unique identification number if this is legally allowed) and data concerning your credit history e.g., if you own a bank account or a credit card or have payment defaults. They can also hold other public records e.g., information on bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc. Credit reference agencies do not hold information on what you earn, your nationality,your employment, or other sensitive personal data (e.g., religion, political preferences, gender).
What is a credit report?
A credit report is a document that provides information about your credit history and financial behaviour. It is compiled by credit reference agencies, which gather information from a variety of sources, including lenders, credit card companies, and other financial institutions. Creditors use credit reports to make creditrelated decisions.
What is a positive credit history?
A positive credit history is one that shows your ability to manage credit properly through a track record of responsible borrowing and repayment behaviour. It is an essential factor in determining your creditworthiness and can influence your ability to obtain credit or loans, as well as the interest rates given. Examples of positive data are fully paid credit cards, timely payments, length of credit history, paid mail order invoices and non-arrear bank accounts
What is a negative credit history?
A negative credit history is a record of your past borrowing and repayment behaviour that suggests your inability or unwillingness to manage your credit responsibly. Examples of negative credit history are late payments, defaults, high credit utilisation, bankruptcies and /or insolvencies.
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What is a credit score?
A credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, based on your credit history and other financial behavior. Credit scores are typically calculated by credit reference agencies, using a range of factors such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and types of credit. Credit scores are just one factor that lenders consider when making credit decisions. They may also take into account other factors such as your income, employment status, and debt-to-income ratio.
Are credit reference agencies regulated?
Yes. National regulations define the legal environment in which credit reference agencies operate. The law also defines the scope of data credit reference agencies can hold and for how long they can store your data. Credit reference agencies are also subject to the provisions of banking laws and other local regulations.
Who uses the services of credit reference agencies?
The most common users of credit reference agencies’ services are banks and non-banking financial
companies, but also telecommunication, insurance, mail order, and /or utility companies. The types of clients that use the services of credit reference agencies vary from country to country and depend on the legal environment of the country.
How do credit reference agencies help lenders?
CRAs help lenders to accurately assess your credit eligibility because the information that is managed by the CRAs proves your credibility and creditworthiness
How do credit reference agencies help you?
Credit reference agencies play an important role in helping you access credit. When you apply for credit, lenders can quickly and easily check your credit report to see if you have a history of paying bills on time and managing credit responsibly. They can also help verify your identity by checking your personal information against public records and other sources. This can help prevent identity theft and other types of fraud. Credit reference agencies can also help prevent fraud by flagging suspicious activity on your credit report, such as new accounts that were opened without your knowledge. Finally, credit reference agencies can provide you with financial education, that will help you manage your finances more effectively.
What right rights do you have when you deal with credit reference agencies?
You have several rights when dealing with credit reference agencies. These rights include the right to access your credit report – so that you know what personal information the credit reference agency holds about you – and the right to dispute inaccurate information and add a notice of correction – so that you can ensure that any inaccurate or outdated information is deleted from your credit report.
Does having a credit report or a good credit score automatically mean you will be granted credit?
No. Credit reports and credit scores are an input in the lender’s decision-making process. It is up to the lender – after a thorough internal risk analysis – to make the ultimate decision whether to grant you the credit or not.

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News

ACCIS welcomes IMCO vote on CCD2

Today, the IMCO Committee has given its stamp of approval, paving the way for CCD2 to revolutionise responsible lending through enhanced creditworthiness assessment practices. The CCD2 extends the scope of the directive to include previously excluded risky loans. This...

Registration open for the 2023 ACCIS Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2023 ACCIS Annual Conference taking place on 8-9 June 2023 at Palazzo di Varignana Resort & SPA in Varignana (Bologna), Italy. This year’s conference will focus on “Powering data-driven financial decisions”. Our delegates will...

ACCIS launches report on best practices to support credit and financial literacy

ACCIS is pleased to announce the launch of our Credit and Financial Literacy Report, a collection of best practices from ACCIS members that are aimed at improving credit and financial literacy in Europe. As Enrique Velázquez, Director General of ACCIS, notes in the...

ACCIS updates its visual identity

On 9 September 2021, ACCIS introduced its new visual identity to the public.  In addition, to a recent update to its name (formerly Association of Consumer Credit Information Suppliers) it had also undergone a visual refresh. From the logo to the website to social...

New Management Board Election for 2021 – The ACCIS Board welcomes four new Board Members

ACCIS 2021 New Board Members (from left to right):   Ole Schröder, Paul Randall, Koray Kaya and Jukka Ruuska Brussels, Belgium, July 08, 2021 ACCIS wants to congratulate the four new members of our Board of Directors. They have been elected by the members on 15 June...

ACCIS BOARD COMMUNIQUÉ : Credit reference agencies take stock of COVID-19 impacts and the uptake to digital banking

BY CONFERENCE CALL – 15 JUNE 2021 – The Board of ACCIS, the voice of the credit reference industry in Europe, said today that COVID-19 has had varying impacts on consumers and businesses across European countries. From a business perspective, tough times will...

2020: A Year to Remember and ACCIS turned 30

As we reach the end of 2020 and reflect on all the year has brought us as well as the innovation it inspired, it also marked a milestone for ACCIS: we turned 30. To celebrate the occasion, we’re pleased to present the ACCIS 30th Anniversary brochure. This document...

Global Credit Reporting Conference Moves to 2022

In the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on any larger gathering of people, the 12th World Consumer Credit Reporting Conference has been postponed until 2022. Time and location are both confirmed: the Conference will take place on September 18-20,...

ACCIS launches valuable educational website on credit reports

Consumers in Europe now have an easy way to get a copy of their free credit report at www.checkyourcreditreport.eu. Brussels, Belgium (23 November 2020) – The Association of Consumer Credit Information Suppliers (ACCIS) is pleased to announce the launch of its new...

COVID-19 Impacts on the credit and business industry – Newly released survey results

Following a joint webinar on the impact of the pandemic on the credit and business industry, ACCIS and FEBIS surveyed 22 companies to further assess the impact of the COVID19 on their business. The results of that survey have just been published. Among many...

Position Papers

ACCIS response to the European Commission’s call for evidence on the GDPR

In this response, we express concerns about perceived imbalances in GDPR enforcement. We also note that the absence of clear guidance exacerbates the situation, especially in cases where the GDPR falls short in providing necessary clarity. Members of ACCIS assert that...

Joint Industry Statement on AI Definition

In this industry statement on the AI definition, a collaborative effort signed by ACCIS and various prominent industry financial services, we emphasize that traditional, statistical techniques used in credit scoring - e.g. logistic regression - warrant regulatory...

ACCIS feedback on the European Commission’s proposal on Financial Data Access (FIDA)

In our feedback paper on the European Commission’s proposal on Financial Data Access (FIDA), we state that the proposed framework represents a positive step toward responsible and innovative financial services within the European Union. However, there are crucial...

ACCIS statement on several CJEU cases

In this statement, we outline our views on several CJEU cases that can shape the regulatory framework for the provision of credit referencing services in the internal EU market. In our opinion, cross-border access to credit databases will only be meaningful if the...

ACCIS response to public targeted consultation on Open Finance

In our response to the European Commission’s targeted consultation on Open Finance, we state that Open finance should complement what exists and works well in the market today: it should add value to existing markets and systems for the sharing and reuse of financial...

ACCIS response to EDPB’s Guidelines on calculation of fines

In our response to the EDPB’s Guidelines on calculation of fines, we note that the EDPB appears to emphasise setting GDPR fines at a level that effectively deters future non-compliance whilst we would prefer similar attention to ensuring the proportionality of GDPR...

ACCIS feedback on the European Commission’s proposal on the EU Data Act

In our feedback document on the proposed EU Data Act, ACCIS broadly welcomes the EU Data Act as it creates a fairer, more innovative, and more competitive data economy in Europe. We are however unclear as to the stated harmonising objective of the Regulation. The GDPR...

ACCIS feedback on a proposal establishing a European Single Access Point

In our response, we highlight that the proposal offering a single point of access to public information about EU companies and EU investment products could potentially allow ACCIS members to retrieve and process data which is used for added value services (e.g.,...

ACCIS response to EDPB’s Guidelines 01/2022 on Data Subject Rights – Right of Access

In our response to the EDPB’s Guidelines 01/2022 on Data Subject Rights – Right of Access, we highlight several positive elements in how the EDPB guides in relation to the form of Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs), the provision of a copy or the limits to respond...

ACCIS response to public consultation on the Mortgage Credit Directive

In our response to the public consultation on the Mortgage Credit Directive, ACCIS illustrates that the requirement to base a creditworthiness assessment (CWA) on information on the consumer’s income and expenses and other financial and economic circumstances which is...

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