Credit information

Consumer Credit Reporting
Key issues in complaints handling
The webinar will focus on the following issues:
1. Overview & introduction
2. Types of personal information that can be held in
the consumer credit reporting system
3. Key requirements to list a default
4. Access rights and obligations
5. The new corrections process
6. Complaints about incorrect personal information
Part IIIA of the amended Privacy Act 1988
supplemented by:
– Privacy Regulation 2013
– Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (CR code)
Separated into divisions based on the type of
– Division 2 – CRBs
– Division 3 – credit providers
– Division 4 – ‘affected information recipients’
Separate division (Division 5) setting out complaints
handing rights and obligations
CR code divided by topic
No reference to a ‘credit report’ or a ‘credit
information file’ in the legislation  however,
expected that industry will continue to use these
• Information in the credit reporting system is
categorised based on:
– the entity that holds the information,
– the entity that disclosed the information, and
– the purpose for which that information can be used
• Reflects the flow of information in the system
• Obligations and rights expressed by reference
to these different categories
There are six key categories:
– credit information (CI)  collected by credit providers
– CRB derived information  produced by CRBs using CI
– credit reporting information (CRI) = CI + CRB derived
information  disclosed by CRBs to credit providers
– CP derived information  produced by credit providers
using CRI
– credit eligibility information = CRI and CP derived
information  used & disclosed by credit providers (but not
to CRBs) and includes CRI and CP derived information
– regulated information  held (used) by AIRs
Credit information is the key category:
– ‘raw’ types of information permitted to be
collected by CRBs for inclusion in a credit report
– credit information is defined in s6N
– equivalent to s18E of the current Part IIIA
1. ‘Pre-commencement information’ – information
prescribed by the old s18E that is no longer permitted to be
collected by a CRB for inclusion in a credit report
2. Other publicly available information – that doesn’t
meet the requirements of s6N & Para 11 CR code
3. Other consumer credit information – other information
about an individual's consumer credit activities (Para 5.1 CR
code, E.g. information about the balance on a credit account)
4. Other commercial information – other information
about an individual's commercial credit activities
The exception applies if…
• a CRB lawfully held the information immediately prior to 12 March
2014, or
• a CP holds the information, that was lawfully disclosed to it by a CRB
• the personal information is NOT information about a small default (a
default of < $150)
• the use or disclosure occurs on or before 12 March 2016 OR the
expiry of the relevant retention period, whichever is sooner.
• the personal information is a file note entered at the request of the
individual prior 12 March 2014 and the individual has not
subsequently requested its removal.
BUT… any pre-commencement information (or file
note) captured by this exception
For example, the relevant retention period will be the
NEW retention period for the most analogous type of
credit information
Previously publicly available information not regulated
by Part IIIA
But this has changed…
Part IIIA (s6N):
– MUST be about an individual’s activities in
Australia and creditworthiness
CR code (Para 11):
– MUST be available to the general public
– MUST be collected by a CRB from an agency or
state/territory authority
Part IIIA exhaustively sets out the types of
personal information able to be included in an
individuals consumer credit report
Paragraph 5.1 of the CR Code makes this
absolutely clear
‘Credit information’ includes information about:
• commercial credit enquiries, and
• commercial credit applications (type & amount)
Credit laws DO NOT regulate other types of commercial
credit information
…the laws DO regulate when and for what purpose a
commercial provider can access the consumer system
• NOT statute barred
• NOT less than $150 at the time of listing
• ALL of that amount must be at least 60 days overdue
• 2 notices
– Notice requesting payment
– Notice of intention to disclose a default
• 2 notices must be issued 30 days apart (cant be in
one envelope!)
• 2nd notice must be issued at least 14 days prior to
• Default cannot be listed more than 90 days after 2nd
notice is given
Key concerns:
– double listings
– artificial extension of the retention period
– each overdue payment must be the subject of a separate
listing (even for the same credit account)
– default can only be updated to reflect accrual of incidental
fees and charges that result from the overdue payment
A CRB must provide FREE access in the following
1. if the individual has applied for, and been refused
credit, within the past 90 days
2. if the access relates to a decision by a CRB or a
credit provider to correct information, and
3. in addition, once every 12 months.
• must be as available and easy to identify as feebased access services
• within 10 days of receipt request
• includes access to a current credit score
• must include summary & explanation to aid
• CRB required to verify the identity of the individual
seeking access
Single point of access
obligation to consult
evidence substantiating correctness
30 day timeframe
How might this work…?
establishment of a corrections interchange
centralised registry of all corrections requests
incorrect information held by multiple CRBs can be
corrected simultaneously
3 tiered complaints system:
1. CRB or credit provider to which the complaint
2. recognised external dispute resolution scheme
3. the OAIC
OAIC can decline to investigate complaint if:
– individual did not first complain to the CRB or
credit provider
– complaint is already being dealt with by an EDR
– complaint would be more effectively or
appropriately dealt with by an EDR scheme
Individual not required to complain to a CRB or a
credit provider about the outcome of their
correction or access request
• 15 NEW consumer credit reporting fact sheets
available on the OAIC website –
• OAIC Business Resource 3 – ‘What has changed in
credit’ –
• ARCA –
• Possibility of future webinars (Feedback!)
Protecting information rights – advancing information policy

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