Saturday 22 October 2016

Register of loans not now due until 2017

Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30

Central Bank Governor Philip Lane
Central Bank Governor Philip Lane

A LONG-awaited centralised credit register won't be up and running until next year, the Central Bank said.

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This will mean it will have taken seven years to get it operational.

It will be March 2017 before the first phase of the register is introduced.

And it was confirmed that loans made by moneylenders will not be captured in register until the second phase is operational, at the end of 2017.

The lack of a centralised source of credit data has been identified as one of the culprits for Ireland's catastrophic lending, since banks and other institutions were not able to see the full borrowing history of companies and individuals.

Setting up a central credit register was one of the financial sector reforms identified by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund at the start of the bailout programme in 2010.

But the project has been dogged by difficulties and delays. The legislation underpinning the register dates to 2013.

The Central Bank has already chosen Italian credit checker CRIF as the preferred bidder to operate the new credit register.

Yesterday the Central Bank, where the governor is Philip Lane, issued a report summarising feedback from a consultation exercise it conducted on how the register would work.

A total of 20 submissions were received.

The regulator also set out a timeline for the implementation of the register.

From September this year banks, credit unions and finance houses will have to submit data on loans to the register's operators.

Lenders will have until the end of March next year to report new loans and ones taken out form September this year.

Borrowers will be able to get copies of their credit report by March 2017.

And it emerged that one unnamed member of the Central Bank Commission, the board of the Bank, queried the rationale for excluding moneylenders from the register, until its second phase is operational.

Credit unions, in a submission to the Bank, expressed concern that moneylenders would escape the reporting restrictions in phase one of the operation of the register.

However, moneylenders supported the position being taken by the Central Bank.

The register will require all lenders to submit personal and credit information on loan agreements of €500 or more to the register. Lenders will have to check the database for credit applications of €2,000 or more.

Irish Independent

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