Fair Reporting Credit Act Safeguards Borrowers’ Interests

13/05/2016 11:26

Fijian consumers whose names are listed on Data Bureau database are now better placed to progress in their lives with the enactment of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016.

Consumers have been enslaved by Data Bureau and its members for a long time with no one taking any responsibility to ensure uploading of correct credit data. The Consumer Council of Fiji supports the enactment of the new legislation which ensures a fair marketplace for both borrowers and credit providers.

The Council lobbied for ten long years to have the Data Bureau regulated. This is simply because Data Bureau could not hold its paying members accountable for the accuracy of the data. Neither did Data Bureau think it necessary to take ownership of the information maintained on its database.

The credibility of all the data collected by Data Bureau is questionable as it operated under a disclaimer: - You must be aware that the information on your credit report is supplied by third parties, therefore, the Credit Bureau will not be held liable for its inaccuracy”.

Does this not confirm that the data they have is marred with errors and yet are unable to hold their members accountable? What should be done in situations where Data Bureau collects annual subscription from its members who upload information but is not able to assure accuracy of information?

The Council can verify that the Data Bureau had credit history of individuals even before its establishment in Fiji. So the question is: How was consent obtained from these consumers when Data Bureau did not exist?

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