Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (117)

Michael McGrath


117. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the role of the Central Credit Register and an organisation (details supplied); the obligation on banks to consider the content of the credit history of a person on the register or the organisation; if a bank is prevented from lending to a customer based on their history; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37031/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Central Credit Register (CCR) is established by the Central Bank under the Credit Reporting Act 2013. The CCR is a database of credit information based on credit applications and agreements, and its primary purpose is to assist lenders to make more informed decisions on applications for credit.

Under the Act a lender is required to access information held on the CCR which relates to a person who has made a relevant credit application to that lender, or who has requested a change in the terms of an existing credit agreement.  Section 16 of the Act sets out the purposes for which information from the CCR may only be used by lenders such as verifying information provided in connection with credit applications and evaluating risk associated with the provision of or restructuring of credit.  As such, the information provided from the CCR will be available for consideration by a lender, along with other relevant information obtained by the lender from the applicant for credit (such as information on the applicant borrower’s income, employment, expenses etc), in carrying out an assessment of the likely ability of the applicant borrower to meet the terms for the provision and repayment of credit.

The information provided by the CCR is factual in nature and it contains no guidance, recommendation or prohibition for lenders on what decision they should make on an application for credit.  Subject to complying with applicable law and regulatory requirements, it is a matter for lenders to make their own lending decisions in accordance with their own credit policies and risk appetites.  In particular, the Credit Reporting Act does not prohibit a lender from providing credit based on a CCR credit report.

Regarding the other organisation referred to by the Deputy, that is a privately owned organization and neither I nor the Central Bank have any statutory function in relation to it.