Fees and Levies
The Central Bank of Ireland has made regulations governing the fees to be paid by lenders for enquiry on the Central Credit Register. These regulations also address associated matters such as arrangements with regard to the payment, collection and recovery of fees as well as exemptions.
Borrowers who are individuals can submit a request for their credit report at any time free of charge, subject to such requests not being excessive in line with the General Data Protection Regulation. This is called ‘fair usage’. Article 12 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out that where requests from a data subject are manifestly unfounded or excessive, in particular because of their repetitive character, the data controller may either charge a reasonable fee taking into account the administrative costs of providing the information or communication or taking the action requested or refuse to act on the request.
Borrowers who are not individuals (for example companies) may submit a request for a credit report once a year free of charge. There will be a charge of €6.35 for any subsequent request within the year.
The Central Credit Register has been established on the basis that all costs associated with it are recouped. A number of variables influenced the level at which fees have been set, and included matters such as the timing of any amendment to the Credit Reporting Act (‘the Act’) to clarify the exclusion of ‘trade credit’ and the expected volumes of enquiry. The Minister for Finance in response to a parliamentary question in December 2017, confirmed that he intended to bring forward an amendment in early 2018 to the Act to bring hire purchase and similar types of finance within the scope of the Central Credit Register.
Lenders will not be charged for enquiry on the Central Credit Register until 1 January 2019.
As provided for in the Regulations, the maximum charge is €5.00 per enquiry. However, from 1 January 2019 the initial charge for lenders will be €3.50 per enquiry. The Central Bank may review this after a period of actual operation.
The Central Credit Register is being implemented on a phased basis. Phase 1 included submission of information on consumer loans such as credit cards, mortgages, personal loans and overdrafts, and this information is now being submitted on a monthly basis. Phase 1 loans are now included on credit reports. Phase 2 commences on 31 March 2018 and includes submission of information on moneylender loans, local authority loans and business loans. Phase 2 will complete on 30 September 2018
The Central Bank of Ireland also reserves its right, under the Act, to introduce a levy for the Central Credit Register at a later stage.