Fair Re­port­ing on Credit Act: Koya

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There has been a lot of in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion spread by some me­dia and cer­tain in­di­vid­ual re­gard­ing the Fair Re­port­ing of Credit Act says Min­is­ter for Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya. Mr Koya gave an ex­am­ple: “State­ments claim­ing that the Fair Re­port­ing of Credit Act will cre­ate prob­lems in the credit sec­tor, as credit pro­vid­ing in­sti­tutes will no longer have credit his­tory of cus­tomers.

“This state­ment is to­tally in­cor­rect. The in­for­ma­tion from the Data Bureau has proven to have er­rors and un­ver­i­fied in­for­ma­tion that needs to be in­de­pen­dently scru­ti­nized,” Min­is­ter Koya said.

He said that Fi­jians have been suf­fer­ing at the hands of the only credit re­port­ing agency in Fiji. “The Data Bureau as has not un­der­taken proper ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to them nor has it put in place any cred­i­ble sys­tem to cor­rect their in­for­ma­tion. “Com­plaints from the con­sumers have gone un­heard by the Bureau. The Fiji-First Gov­ern­ment is tak­ing this mat­ter head on, to find a so­lu­tion for or­di­nary Fi­jians. “Now more than ever it is im­por­tant to have the Fair Re­port­ing of Credit Act in place, as many con­sumers af­fected by TC Win­ston will be seek­ing ac­cess to credit. Their rights in this should be up­held.” Min­is­ter Koya said that the Fair Re­port­ing of Credit Act will put in place a leg­isla­tive struc­ture that pro­vides for trans­par­ent and ac­count­able re­port­ing of cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion for credit pur­poses.

“The cur­rent credit re­port­ing struc­ture un­der the Data Bureau was self-reg­u­lated and had no trans­par­ent prin­ci­ples, lacked ac­count­abil­ity, and most im­por­tantly lacked rules to pro­tect the pri­vacy of in­di­vid­u­als,’’ he said. “Fur­ther­more, it has been noted that at

times the in­for­ma­tion is in­cor­rect, which has led to many Fi­jians not be­ing able to ac­cess fi­nances from lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions.” The Min­is­ter also stated that 47 com­plaints were reg­is­tered with the Con­sumer Coun­cil of Fiji re­gard­ing the di­rect con­duct of Data Bureau and all these com­plaints have been re­ferred to the Data Bureau. Min­is­ter Koya said: “Fi­jians need to un­der­stand that the in­tro­duc­tion of the Fair Re­port­ing of Credit Act al­lows for Credit Re­port­ing Agen­cies to be formed pro­vided that they meet the cri­te­ria set out in the Act and its Reg­u­la­tions.

“The Act is not stop­ping credit re­port­ing but reg­u­lates credit re­port­ing so that it is done in a trans­par­ent man­ner.”

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