According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill “the purpose of the credit reporting system is to balance an individual’s interests in protecting their personal information with the need to ensure sufficient personal information is available to assist a credit provider to determine an individual’s eligibility for credit following an application for credit by an individual...”
The new credit reporting regime aims to:
- provide increased consumer rights and protections by including the ability of individuals to better access and correct their personal credit information and lodge complaints directly with the Commissioner;
- give credit providers access to additional personal information to assist them in establishing an individual’s credit worthiness;
- place increased responsibility on organisations that hold credit information to justify disputed credit listings; and
- achieve consistency with the recent national reforms to consumer credit laws.
A significant feature of the proposed reforms is the additional data that may be exchanged between credit providers and credit reporting agencies including the date a credit account was opened, the type of credit account opened, the date the credit account was closed, the current limit of each open credit account and repayment performance history about the individual. The additional data will allow credit providers to make more informed decisions on individuals’ credit worthiness, therefore enhancing credit risk systems.
The Bill allows for the replacement of existing privacy codes and the Credit Reporting Code of Conduct. A new credit reporting code, to be called the “CR Code” will set out how the credit reporting provisions are to be applied or complied with, and must deal with matters required or permitted by Part IIIA of the Privacy Act as well as any other specified matters.
Read the full text of the Bill