Sharing of SME data with Credit Reference Agencies
Opening up access to credit data held by the big banks will increase the reliability of credit scores, enabling alternative finance providers to make better-informed decisions about finance provision to smaller businesses.
When the policy is enabled, designated banks will be required to share information about their SME customers with other lenders through designated Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) and to require CRAs to provide equal access to the data they hold where the lender in question has the permission of the SME and where that lender is willing to share the data it has on its own credit facilities.
The government announced at the 2015 Autumn Statement that it planned to designate Experian, Equifax and Creditsafe as the first three designated CRAs.
On 1 July 2016, HM Treasury re-opened the process for applications from Credit Reference Agencies to apply for designation. The British Business Bank, once again, ran the initial stage of the process, and is undertaking the necessary due diligence on applicants before providing advice to HM Treasury.
NB – the deadline for applications for this round has now passed.
For reference, the documents for the process are available on our call for information and request for proposals page.