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Fair Reporting of Credit Act a windfall for consumers: CCF

June 4, 2018 7:08 pm

Less than the year since the Fair Reporting on Credit Act came into effect and consumers are better off according to the Consumer Council of Fiji.

CCF Chief Executive Premila Kumar says the council lobbied to regulate credit reporting agencies in particular the now closed Data Bureau for more than 10 years before the legislation, a first of its kind was introduced to Parliament in 2016 and effected in October of 2017.

Under the Act, Kumar notes all Fijians are entitled to have their credit history fairly and properly recorded by any credit reporting agency.

“At least it will hold any credit reporting agency accountable for the information they put on the data bureau, I mean on the data and if the information is incorrect, the consumers can seek for remedy and they will have to provide the remedy and at the end of the day, they will also prepare a compliance report where they will say how many complaints they’ve received and how long did it take them to resolve these complaints.”

Kumar made the comments as part of a submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social affairs while discussing the Council’s 2016 Annual Report.

Meanwhile under the Act, a credit reporting agency can record minimum arrears of three hundred dollars or more, anything less will not be considered for their records.

Previously there was no minimum rate in place and amounts as low as ten dollars could be recorded and under the requirements of then Data Bureau, the credit blemish would remain on the consumer’s record for up to seven years.