Banking

RBF implements requirements under Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016

The Reserve Bank of Fiji wishes to announce the coming into effect of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016 yesterday, the transitional arrangements under Part 6 of the Act are being implemented. In a statement the RBF states that as required under Section 19(6) of the Act, the general public, particularly those who are in […]

NEWSROOM

May 28, 2016 10:30 am

The Reserve Bank of Fiji wishes to announce the coming into effect of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016 yesterday, the transitional arrangements under Part 6 of the Act are being implemented.

In a statement the RBF states that as required under Section 19(6) of the Act, the general public, particularly those who are in the business of providing credit information of consumers, and those who are recipients of credit reports, are advised that they can no longer use any credit information provided to them prior to the commencement of the Act, by an unregistered credit reporting agency, to make a decision on loan or credit applications.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr. Barry Whiteside said work has begun in establishing a supervisory framework for credit reporting.

WHITESIDE: “With the legislative framework in place, work has already begun in the establishment of an effective supervisory framework for credit reporting agencies in Fiji, in line with the requirements of the Act and other relevant supervisory requirements that the Reserve Bank deems necessary, to ensure the protection of consumers, and the acknowledgement of the important contribution of credit data bureaus to the maintenance of financial stability in Fiji.”

Credit information providers and credit report recipients are reminded that failure to comply with Section 19(6) is an offence liable for sanctions prescribed under Section 19(8) of the Act.

Credit information providers are institutions that provide information on borrowers, which are then provided in reports issued by a credit reporting agency or a data bureau.

Credit report recipients are individuals and institutions that receive these reports on borrowers, to assist in making credit decisions.

Institutions that wish to obtain a license to conduct business in Fiji as a credit reporting agency may contact the Reserve Bank for further information.

The ‘Fair Reporting of Credit Act’ comes into effect today.

The Attorney General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
The Attorney General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a press conference yesterday. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Attorney General and Minister for Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed‑Khaiyum said that as soon as the Act comes into effect from today, the Data Bureau will have to hand over all the existing data to the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We wanted to inform you that the Fair Reporting of Credit act comes into effect from tomorrow (today) together with the regulations that will relate to the Fair Reporting for Credit act.”

The act will essentially take on a new approach in terms of a transparent and fair system of reporting of credit in Fiji.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “What that means is that any organisation or company or business that wants to become a credit reporting agency will need to apply to the RBF.”

“The regulations which also comes into force tomorrow (today) has the schedule, the form that you need to apply under. The application fee is $3000 and you get a license for ten years if your application is successful and you pay $30,000 which works out to be $1000 for licence fees.”

He added that those who wanted to be credit reporting recipients would have to make a separate application and pay the application/license fee of $1000 per year to the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF).

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “You also then have a credit information provider, you may be a company providing for example lay-by services and you of course may want to report to the credit reporting agency people who have defaulted on their lay-by or have borrowed from you or bought goods from you on credit terms.”

“You can then provide information to the credit reporting agency , for you to do that you also have to reprot to the Reserve Bank of Fiji and pay a $1000 application/license fee a year.”

The AG said under the Fair Reporting for Credit Act, one cannot be a direct financial provider as well as a shareholder in the credit reporting agency.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “As we’ve said continuously now some people have been put in place while they may have a dispute with the service provider.”

“If any of that situation arises, now there is checks and balances to who can go and report it, but if some how the others sneaks into the system then you have a right of recourse, you don’t have to go to the court.”

He said the system was not one that favoured the rich and elite .

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “Every single Fijian must have the ability to find a recourse, a redress mechanism that is affordable and that is why it is very critical.”

He added the Fijian Government hoped to engage other players in the market .

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “The other credit reporting agencies that exist in Australia and New Zealand for example, by having a transparent and well-regulated system you then allow overseas investors to come in that’s the similar thing that we are looking at in other financial sectors.”

“The RBF should of course rightfully be the entity that’s overseeing this because RBF has carriage over other regulatory aspects of financial institutions that is to do with credit.”

The AG said members of the public would also need to adhere to the RBF code of conduct.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “This does not mean to people that you don’t go and pay your debts , you have to pay your debts, you have to be responsible.”

“We wanted to also highlight to people that now they have been given a clean slate this is a good opportunity for you. Don’t abuse the system, we’ve now given you a clean slate.”

The ‘Fair Reporting of Credit Act’ was enacted in Parliament in April.

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