Callcredit, the UK's only web-based credit reference agency (CRA), has already started processing and analysing 2005 Electoral Roll information

As a cornerstone of identity verification, accurate Electoral Roll information is an essential element of the credit granting process and plays a vital role in fraud prevention.

John McAndrew, Callcredit's Managing Director said: "With up to 13% of the Electoral Roll changing from one year to the next, it is important for CRAs to update their databases as quickly as possible.

"As the UK's most technologically advanced CRA, Callcredit handles submissions from the UK's 400+ councils electronically and uses sophisticated data matching techniques to ensure errors and omissions can be easily identified and rectified.

"We believe our customers benefit from the most accurate and up-to-date Electoral Roll information available."


Callcredit and sister company EuroDirect, the marketing information specialists, have also revealed the latest opt-out figures from the 2005 Electoral Roll, which indicate yet another rise in opt-out levels across the UK.

Interim analysis of well over half of the councils in the UK has highlighted that an average of 29.87% of individuals per council have opted out. With an overall UK average of 28.49% people opting out this shows a marked increase compared to previous years with 26.00% opting out in 2004 and only 20.90% in 2003.

It has been well documented over the last few months that the pre-ticking of opt-outs by local authorities has continued for the 2005 register, although at a lower rate.

However, the overall impact has resulted in approximately 1.1 million more people opting out across the country in this autumn's canvass.

Analysis of the Electoral Rolls processed to date indicate the best and worst local authorities as highlighted below:

10 Highest Opt-Out Local Authority Areas So Far:
Wandsworth 72.31%
Kennet 72.24%
Wokingham 60.55%
Bassetlaw 59.05%
Islington 57.79%
Easington 55.54%
West Lindsey 54.99%
Macclesfield 54.57%
New Forest 53.30%
Lewes 53.28%
10 Lowest Opt-Out Local Authority Areas So Far:
Powys - Montgomeryshire 4.50%
Gedling 5.20%
North Tayside & Angus 5.20%
Bradford 6.44%
Dumfries & Galloway 6.57%
Perth & Kinross 6.61%
Dundee 6.96%
Glasgow 7.01%
Lanarkshire 7.91%
Gwynedd 8.38%

John Dobson, managing director, EuroDirect comments:

"An increase of 2.5% in 2005 may not seem much but it actually equates to an opt-out of over 3.3 million UK consumers since 2003."

"We are starting to see a disconcerting trend in data loss which shows that the marketing industry still needs to be aware of the importance of supplementing the Electoral Roll with other data sources to maintain access to the consumer universe. So, if you're using the Electoral Roll as your primary source, it's going to be nearly 30% less effective overall and significantly more in specific geographical regions."