Central Bank Credit Register
The Central Bank Credit Register is a new centralised system which has been established for the purpose of collecting personal and credit information on consumer loans and came into effect on 30 June 2017.
Under the Credit Reporting Act 2013, the Central Bank of Ireland is in charge of operating this Register and, since 30 June 2017, the Central Bank has begun collecting and storing personal and credit information from lenders about the loans they give to consumers. Lenders who give out loans in the sum of €500 or more, are now obliged to transfer information on these loans to the Register. The Register however will not collect information about loans of less than €500.
Initially the Register will include information on loans such as credit cards, over drafts, personal loans and mortgages. In time, it is anticipated that information on other types of lendings such as Hire Purchase agreements and Personal Contract Plans (“PCP Agreements”) will also be included.
Reasons for the Register
The Government agreed to establish the Register as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland. It is designed to collect information which will assist both lenders and consumers and also to assist the Central Bank in its role of safeguarding stability for the lender as well as protecting consumers.
Benefits of the Register
Benefit to Lenders – Lenders will be able to use the information and get a more detailed picture of a particular consumer’s credit history which will assist in making any decision about a loan application.
Benefit to Consumers – Consumers will have the opportunity to see what credit information a lender holds about them.
Both consumers and lenders will be able to have access to the information and can be sought in the the form of a Credit Report which will be available from early 2018. A Credit Report can be requested at any time and the first report each year is free of charge. Only a consumer or a lender can request the credit report and each request is recorded as what has been termed a “footprint” so both a lender and consumer will know who has looked at the particular credit report.
It is intended that, from 30 March 2018, information on loans from licensed moneylenders and local authorities will be included in the Register.