Ownership of Credit Data Infrastructure
As of 2017, there is a lot of diversity in the European credit reporting space in terms of the credit databases existing e.g. with regards their ownership structure, the types of borrowers reported, the type of operators that provide data to such databases, etc.
Type of Operation
Reported Entities – Borrowers
Suppliers of Data – Traditional
Suppliers of Data – Alternative
Suppliers of Data – per country
There is also wide disparity in terms of the categories of data that those databases contain. Whilst all credit bureaus collect data on individuals and most collect data on sole traders, on SMEs and larger corporate entities, data on other legal entities is not so available.
There remains potential for a greater supply and usage by credit refrencing agencies of ‘alternative data’, such as data from companies providing utilities and telecommunications services.
Breadth & Depth of Data
Most CRAs hold and collect information on mortgages, consumer loans, credit and store cards and overdrafts. The depth of the data on these “mainstream” lending products is the highest in terms of both negative and positive data. However, the depth of data also varies significantly across the European Single Market.
In 25% of cases, there is a financial threshold below which data is not collected. This threshold ranges from country to country. In 34% of cases, the information supplied to CRAs by the credit industry is updated daily. The percentage for publicly supplied data, such as court data, is 50%.
CRAs uphold trust as the basis for all their activities. Trust is built through an enabling regulatory framework and transparency of the data that is held and the processes used.
Sharing of credit data is required by regulation in 63% of cases and of non-credit data in 22% of cases. More and more European countries are making sharing of data a legal requirement.
Reciprocity remains the basis for access to and for sharing credit databases across Europe. That principle guarantees that data is accessed only by those creditors that report the same type of data to the credit bureau.
CRAs ensure their data is of high quality. The vast majority have put in place internal quality control mechanisms and more tan half run independent quality audits.
In all cases consumers have the right to access their data. In 100% of cases the consumer has the right to dispute. 69% of consumers have free access to their data.
Credit reporting systems are gradually evolving, to cater for new market needs or regulatory-driven requirements. 9% of CRAs have reported that their data are available for assessing securitised lending portfolios. A significant amount also allow database use by Fin-Tech lenders.
Cross-border data transfers can become a useful instrument to facilitate the provision of credit and other financial services across borders. Only 16% of European members of European credit bureaus share data directly with financial institutions in other countries. This percentage is linked to the existence of the reciprocity principle. 37% of credit bureaus share data across borders i.e. indirect data sharing. Situation in cross border data sharing has not shown any significant changes since 2012.
The Association of Consumer Credit Information Suppliers (ACCIS) represents the largest group of credit reference agencies in the world. ACCIS brings together 42 members across 29 European countries and 10 associate and affiliate members from all other continents.
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