Pay up debt to clear name, says bureau

THERE are different processes in place for clearing one’s name on the Credit Bureau but this depends on the cases.

Data Bureau Ltd (DBL) general manager Delores Elliot said the most obvious one was for customers to pay their debts directly with their credit providers (their members), the credit providers would then update the Credit Bureau to reflect the present status of their debts.

“Our members (in most cases) contact our office to verify the information on behalf of the consumers. The consumers can also contact our office to clarify their information,” Ms Elliot said.

“Our code of conduct requires members, who are under contractual obligation, to load accurate information, to load defaulters who are in arrears of more than 60 days, that there are no financial arrangements in place with their customers and that there are no disputed debts being loaded,” she said.

She said DBL provided historical information to their members, which was the reason they kept records of customers for seven years.

“Consumers who have not settled their debts will have their information remain on the Credit Bureau,” she said.

She said there was no specific law that covered the retention of information on individuals and companies.

Consumer Council of Fiji officer-in-charge, Bindula Prasad said the bureau ran its business by selling consumers private information without any accountability to the consumers.

Ms Prasad said Fiji Data Bureau was an obstacle to consumers who wanted to access credit to improve their quality of life.

As a privately owned company, she said, it operated under a disclaimer that was pushing people into hardship.

“It is unfortunate that the Fiji Data Bureau is not taking any responsibility for uploading inaccurate credit information given by its paid members.”

She said the bureau was not regulated by Reserve Bank of Fiji or any other regulator.

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