International Committee on Credit Reporting (ICCR) issues important guidance on the handling of credit reporting data  during the COVID 19 pandemic

The ICCR, the recognized international standard setter in credit reporting and of which BIIA is a founding member, has released important guidance on the treatment of credit reporting data during the COVD 19 pandemic.

Neil Munroe, Deputy Chair of the ICCR and Deputy Managing Director of BIIA writes:

The treatment of credit data during a crisis has potential impact on the integrity of credit reporting systems and ultimately the financial markets. Inadequate and untimely data reduces the reliance placed by credit providers on the credit reporting system and can lead to credit rationing, increase in the cost of credit and exclusion of borrowers. A crisis such as the COVID 19 impacts on good performing borrowers’ ability to meet their scheduled payments relegating them to the same level with existing non-performing borrowers. This brings to the fore the discussion on how missed or delayed payments associated with this major crisis should be treated in the credit reporting system, particularly on whether payment delays caused as a result of the crisis should be reported and if so, what weighting it should have on a borrower’s credit history and credit risk score.

Against this background and with many countries already considering taking measure to support consumers, the ICCR has issued in its guidance a number of measures that policy makers, regulatory authorities of Credit Reporting Systems (CRS), and credit reporting stakeholders (in the absence of a CRS regulatory body) should consider implementing.

These include

Safeguarding the integrity of the credit reporting systems

  1. Promote continued full (file) sharing of credit information including reporting of all payment data, arising due to the crisis, with the necessary safeguards that ensure that there is minimal or no effect on the data subjects’ credit history and score.
  2. Ensure consistent interpretation and application of the data reporting requirements by all credit providers and participants in the credit reporting system.
  3. Ensure that Credit Reporting Service Providers (CRSPs) and Credit Providers (CPs) implement adequate business continuity procedures to offer full services during the crisis particularly due to the potential of service disruptions due to home-based working, social distancing requirements and other associated requirements. 

Safeguarding borrowers

  1. Implement measures to monitor that the negative payment information reported during the crisis has minimal or no effect on credit risk scores of data subjects.
  2. Work with CRSPs and CPs to ensure data subjects are provided digital access, to free credit reports & scores during the crisis, where possible.
  3. Enhance complaints and dispute handling capacity of regulatory authorities, CPs and CRSPs during the crisis, in view of the likely increase in complaints and disputes. 

Improving transparency and disclosure regimes

  1. In markets where the processes are still manual, promote digitization of the process of accessing consumer reports to ensure that the right for data subjects to access credit reports is not affected during the crisis.
  2. Enhance regulatory authorities’ consumer and financial literacy programs through publication of recommended plan of actions and availing additional useful resources to the borrowers.

A copy of the ICCR guidance note is available on the World Bank Group website using the following link:

pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/972911586271609158/COVID-19-ICCR-Credit-Reporting-Policy-Recommendations-for-distribution-6346.pdf

To learn more about the ICCR click on this link:

 https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/financialsector/brief/international-committee-on-credit-reporting


Note to readers

BIIA is actively involved in supporting the ICCR and the World Bank Group on its work on the impact of COVID 19 on credit reporting and in conjunction with these bodies has created a survey to capture the measures that are being implemented. Such information will be helpful in calibrating the WBG responses and interventions in member countries and with this in mind we would encourage readers to complete the survey which can be accessed via the following link:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCRV7GS

BIIA will be looking to publish a summary of the results of the survey in the coming weeks.

For further information on the guidance note and on the survey please contact Neil Munroe @ [email protected]