Callcredit urges removal of barriers to sharing non-consensual credit data

Leeds-based Callcredit has told the DTI that enabling lenders to share non-consented credit data through credit reference agencies would lead to better, more responsible lending decisions and aid the measurement and monitoring of over-indebtedness.

Callcredit was responding to the DTI's industry consultation over the possible removal of barriers to sharing such data. Currently credit data can only be shared when consent has been obtained by the consumer.

Melanie Mitchley, Callcredit's director of industry relationships, said:

"It is acknowledged that the more information available on a consumer, the better decisions that can be made. It is our view that sharing non-consented data via the CRAs will have a positive impact in this respect.

One of the main areas where Callcredit believes non-consented data will impact is in the measurement and monitoring over-indebtedness. The company is working with major lenders on an initiative to tackle over-indebtedness and its analysis has shown that by adding in non-consented data, it is able to produce an improved calculation of a consumer's ability to repay.

Callcredit has also told the DTI it does not support the idea of offering consumers an opt-out option. "It is not practical," added Ms Mitchley. "In addition to the added complexity for consumers and additional costs for lenders, we believe the people most likely to use it would be those most at risk of becoming over-indebted."

She concluded:

"We are very clear in our position on this consultation. We strongly support the removal of barriers to sharing non-consensual credit data."