Fair Reporting on Credit Act: Koya
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.”