Membership Survey

Every few years, ACCIS carries out a survey of its members. The survey highlights the main business indicators and characteristics of credit referencing agencies (CRAs), and the types and quality of the data held by ACCIS member organisations, specifically its depth and breadth and the extent to which it may be used by granters of credit. The survey also looks at the competitive landscape and regulatory framework in which CRAs operate.

We have introduced a few new questions in the latest survey, to cover emerging developments that are relevant to our industry, in particular how information related to the granting of COVID-19-related loan moratoria across many European countries has been processed in credit databases

In 2020, 39 of 42 ACCIS members completed the survey. These members operate in 28 countries, of which 16 are in the EU. About in two-thirds of these countries there is a single CRA member of ACCIS.

Regulatory Handbook

As a complement to the latest Survey, in January 2023 ACCIS published a Legal and Regulatory Handbook on Credit Reporting. The objective of the handbook is to describe the basic rules and features of the legal/regulatory framework under which providers of credit reporting services operate in a given country.

The information contained in the handbook covers 17 European countries and has been collected on a best effort basis. In future editions, the number of countries covered will increase.

Credit Markets Indicators Newsletter

In 2024, ACCIS launched a Credit Market Indicators Newsletter, a pioneering publication marking a significant stride in fostering transparency and comprehension within Europe’s credit markets. At the heart of this quarterly newsletter lies a wealth of data curated from reports furnished by credit bureaus spanning the European continent. We aim to provide stakeholders with insights into the dynamics that define the European credit landscape.

Countries covered by ACCIS members that responded to the survey

Accis Report 2021 Figure 2

Respondents 39 Covered Countries 28 Countries with a single CRA 19

Executive Summary from the 2020 ACCIS Membership Survey Report

Market overview
  • The large majority of the ACCIS members completed the survey (39 of 42 CRAs), which means that the survey is representative for the ACCIS members.
  • It also provides a good representation of the CRAs in Europe. In total the CRAs that responded to this survey are active in 28 European countries, including 16 of the 27 EU Member States.
  • There are large differences among the CRAs in terms of their business models. The large majority of the CRAs are for profit organisations, while a minority is non-for profit.
  • There is a large variety in ownership ranging from foundations and governments, to credit associations and a group of banks, to listed and non-listed companies.
  • The coverage of the CRAs also varies significantly. In general, those CRAs that collect a larger range of positive and negative data based on a specific law cover more borrowers.
Data collection, analysis and supply

Most CRAs hold and collect information on mortgages, consumer loans, credit and store cards, and borrowing on a current account.
Consistently with the results of the 2012, 2015 and 2017 surveys, the depth of the data on ‘mainstream’ lending products covered by members, such as consumer loans, credit and store cards, mortgages, and overdrafts, is the highest in terms of both negative and positive data.
CRAs on average obtain and supply more negative and positive data across all types of services than in 2017.
Credit application, portfolio monitoring, and identity checking are the most frequently used services by clients of CRAs.
Banks, leasing companies, credit card and retail credit suppliers as well as mortgage providers and credit unions are the most common users of CRAs services.
More than half of the CRAs provide educational materials to help borrowers improve their ‘financial health’.

Legal environment and access to data

Nearly half of the lenders have a legal obligation to consult CRAs.
A majority of CRAs reported that the access to public/court data collected by CRAs is permitted, whereas a minority of CRAs highlighted that it is required by national legislation.
About half of the CRAs are subject to specific legal/regulatory schemes for entering the market. A substantial minority of the CRAs are further subject to specific provisions governing them.
More than one-third of the CRAs are subject to direct supervision by a national supervisory authority.
Most of the CRAs process data based on the legitimate interests. But specific laws also form an important ground for CRAs to process data. In some cases, consent is required for the processing of processing of positive data.
Consumers have the right to access their data with CRAs.
Consumers have the right to dispute their data with CRAs, yet less than one-fifth of the CRAs give consumers the right to add comments to their file.

Cross-border data flows

More than one-quarter of the CRAs share data across borders and have access to data from CRAs in other ountries.
Only a minority of CRAs share data directly with financial institutions in other countries.

Covid-19 impact

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2020 ACCIS Survey Report

2023 ACCIS Legal and Regulatory Handbook

Quarterly ACCIS Credit Market Indicators Newsletter

Q4 2023 Edition

Q1 2024 Edition