Parliament

No more Data Bureau, consumer credit history to reset

The Parliament has enacted legislation that could force a reset of all credit history held by credit reporting company, Data Bureau Limited. UPDATE: Banks warn of interest rise, delays as consumers celebrate The Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016 was passed a short while ago by 30 votes to 13 votes.  Seven MPs did not […]

Calvin Prasad

April 27, 2016 6:25 pm

The Parliament has enacted legislation that could force a reset of all credit history held by credit reporting company, Data Bureau Limited.

A sample consumer credit report obtained from Data Bureau Ltd's website.
A sample consumer credit report from Data Bureau Ltd’s website.

UPDATE: Banks warn of interest rise, delays as consumers celebrate

The Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016 was passed a short while ago by 30 votes to 13 votes.  Seven MPs did not vote.  The new law is expected to be endorsed by the President within seven days and gazetted soon after that.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the new law would “give Fijians a fresh start”.  The Opposition insisted the legislation should have been referred to a parliamentary sub-committee first for a public consultation.

The new law requires credit reporting agencies to obtain a licence from the Reserve Bank of Fiji. This Act implies Data Bureau Ltd “must discontinue such operations immediately after this Act comes into force.”

Data currently held by Data Bureau Ltd would have to be handed over to the Reserve Bank for verification.  Financial institutions would not be able to use the data “to make a decision on loan or credit applications.”

Data Bureau Limited

Data Bureau Ltd is a company that was initiated by a group of financial institutions and insurance companies in Fiji in 2001. Its membership covers 100% of the financial market.

According to local media reports, Data Bureau Ltd had more than 388,000 consumer files and provided historical information, keeping records for seven years. General Manager Delores Elliot told local media this did not mean all files contained negative information.

A hire purchase operator in Fiji said Data Bureau Ltd was an important agency for financing and acted as a credit assessment tool.

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