Experian, the global information services company, today launched its consumer credit bureau providing consumer credit reports to financial institutions, telecommunication and utility providers in Australia.
The bureau's launch will increase competition within the Australian market, by providing credit providers with greater bureau choice, and improved transparency for businesses and consumers about the credit granting process.
Experian is the primary provider of consumer credit information to many financial institutions around the world. From Experian's portfolio of global products and services, the Australian credit bureau will offer a range of tools to help lenders manage their clients through the entire lifecycle and better understand risk. This includes instant notifications when changes occur within a customer portfolio and tools to improve the quality of customer data.
The launch of Experian's credit bureau follows the passing of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill in November 2012 and paves the way for comprehensive credit reporting to be introduced in March 2014. The legislation means lenders will be able to take into consideration positive credit history as well as negative credit history when determining an applicant's suitability to receive a loan. This reform enables lenders to better assess risk, promote responsible lending, and provide greater protection to consumers minimising the risk of identity theft.
Consumers can expect to have a stronger relationship with their lender and will have better access to credit that is suitable to their needs, because their credit information will include a more complete view of payment history; recording late payments and payments made on time. They will also be empowered to take ownership of their credit reports.
"We are bringing a world-class bureau service to the Australian market," said Genevieve Juillard, Managing Director, Experian Credit Services, Australia. "The new positive data legislation is excellent news for the industry. It will completely transform the way businesses in Australia grant and manage credit because they will have access to more informatmation allowing them to better assess risk and promote responsible lending. Having worked first hand with lenders in many countries around the world through the transition to comprehensive data, we are here to support lenders in Australia through the upcoming changes.
"Consumers should be aware of what this change means as well. Over time, credit history will become part of the personal finance culture here in Australia and consumers will become more informed and better able to manage their credit," Juillard added.
Experian's consumer bureau is the first in a host of credit services planned for launch in Australia in 2013.
Six major Australian financial institutions will hold a minority stake in the new company as joint venture partners. As the majority stakeholder, Experian is responsible for the operations of the credit bureau.
Experian operates 19 consumer bureaus across the world, including some of the largest in countries such as the US, Brazil and the UK. The company has extensive experience of working in comprehensive credit reporting environments and managing the transition from negative to positive credit reporting.