To be in scope of the Act as amended, a lender must be a Credit Information Provider (‘CIP’), providing credit in connection with a credit application or agreement to which the Act as amended applies, to a Credit Information Subject (‘CIS’). Lenders must satisfy themselves whether they are in scope of the Act as amended.
The following are questions that a lender might ask when considering whether they are within scope of the Act as amended and within the scope of the current implementation phase of the CCR. Lenders should obtain their own independent legal advice if they are unsure as to whether they are within scope of the Act as amended or not.
A) Am I a CIP?
1. Are you a Regulated Financial Service Provider listed on any of the Central Bank’s Registers?
- If you answer Yes to A, you ARE a CIP, proceed to B.
- If you have answered no, proceed to (A) 2.
2. Are you NAMA or a Local Authority?
- If you answer yes to either, you ARE a CIP, proceed to B.
- If you have answered no to both, proceed to (A) 3.
3. Other EU or Non-EU Lenders:
3(i) Are you an individual providing credit?
- If you answer yes, you are NOT a CIP within the scope of the current implementation phase of the CCR, no need to proceed.
- If you answer no, proceed to 3 (ii) or 3 (iii) as applicable.
3(ii) EU based lenders: are you established in the State?
- If you answer yes, you ARE a CIP, proceed to B.
- If you answer no, you are NOT a CIP, no need to proceed.
3(iii) Non-EU based lenders: are you outside the state?
- If you answer no you ARE a CIP, proceed to B.
- If you answer yes, you are NOT a CIP, no need to proceed.
B) Am I providing Credit in scope of the Act as amended?
1. Are you providing credit including a loan, deferred payment or other form of financial accommodation, other than the exceptions set out in the Act as amended?
- If you answer yes to the above – proceed to (B) 2.
- If you answer no, you are NOT providing credit in scope of the Act as amended, no need to proceed.
2. Are you providing credit in scope of the current implementation of the CCR?
2(i) Lending to consumers e.g. mortgages, hire purchase, personal contract plans, credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans; and/or
2(ii) Lending to non-consumers e.g. commercial mortgages, asset finance, business revolving facilities etc.
PLEASE NOTE: Credit provided in the form of deposits, loan notes, securities and other financial instruments (e.g. assets that can be traded) are not in scope of the current implementation phase of the CCR.
- If you answer yes to (B) 2 and are based in ROI – proceed to C.
- If you answer yes to (B) 2 and are based outside of ROI – please contact the Central Bank’s CCR Team who will carry out a materiality assessment and determine if you are required to register as a CIP present: https://www.centralcreditregister.ie/info-request/
- If you answer no to (B) 2 you are NOT providing credit within the current implementation phases of the CCR, there is no need to proceed.
C) Is the credit being provided through a Credit Application or Credit Agreement to which the Act as amended applies, i.e.,
1. The applicant for the provision of credit (Credit Application) or the person for whom credit is provided (Credit Agreement) is resident in the State at the time when the credit application or credit agreement is made OR
2. The law governing the agreement made pursuant to the application or the law governing the credit agreement is the law of the State?
- If you answer yes to either of the above – proceed to D.
- If you answer no to both of the above you are NOT providing credit in relation to a Credit Application or Credit Agreement to which the Act as amended applies, no need to proceed.
D) Is the credit being provided to a CIS, i.e. a person who
1. has made a credit application
2. has made a credit agreement for the provision of credit to the person
- If you answer yes of to any of the above – you are a CIP providing credit, under a credit application or agreement, to which the act as amended applies, to a CIS and therefore you are in scope of the Act as amended and you should immediately familiarise yourself with your obligations thereunder by consulting the Act as amended, supporting regulations and the CCR Handbook. Contact https://www.centralcreditregister.ie/info-request/ to register as a CIP and gain access to the Lender Area of the website.
- If you are a CIP and in scope of the Act as amended and have received your Provider Code and Registration Number from the Central Bank, please follow the instructions provided by the Central Bank to complete the registration.
- If you are a CIP and in scope of the Act as amended but have not received a Provider Code and Registration Number you can request these here.
- If you believe you may become a CIP in scope of the Act as amended in the future, you can request to be added to a CCR mailing list to receive information on future implementations of the CCR here.
The Act provides that
“A credit application or credit agreement is a qualifying credit application or qualifying credit agreement for the purposes of this Act if the amount of the credit applied for or agreed to be provided is at least the amount provided for by subsection (6).
(6) The amount referred to in subsection (5) is—
(a) such amount as is for the time being specified by order under subsection (7), or
(b) where no amount is for the time being so specified, €500.
In addition, the applicant for the provision of credit, or the person for whom credit is provided under the credit agreement, must be resident in the State at the time when the credit application or credit agreement is made, or the law governing any credit agreement made pursuant to the application would be, or the law governing the credit agreement is, the law of the State.
A CIP is obliged to submit information to the Register only in respect of qualifying credit applications and qualifying credit agreements. If the credit applications or credit agreements are below €500 then there is no requirement to submit data to the Register.
If any credit agreement in the existing portfolio is a qualifying credit agreement, there is an obligation to submit data to the Central Credit Register.
If you have sold your loan book and no longer own any qualifying credit applications or credit agreements; and are no longer engaged in the provision of credit then you are not required to submit data to the Central Credit Register. The duty to report to the Central Credit Register includes only qualifying credit applications and qualifying credit agreements. Lenders who are undergoing the sale of a loan book should ensure smooth handover of this reporting obligation to the purchaser.
Section 23 of the Act requires that CIPs ensure that CISs are aware of their rights under the Act. This includes those CISs who make credit applications to the CIP, those who have existing credit agreements with the CIP and guarantors who are proposing to give or have given a guarantee or indemnity in connection with a credit agreement.
This is an ongoing obligation on CIPs that must be met as each type of CIS becomes reportable to the CCR during its implementation and thereafter, i.e. consumers, subsequently non-consumers and guarantors at a later stage, who may be consumers or non-consumers.
The Central Bank recognises that the approach to providing information to customers will vary between different types of CIPs and may depend on the products held by any individual customer. The following channels of communication may be considered by CIPs to meet their obligations to inform CISs:
•Inclusion of notices and information on websites;
•Inclusion of notes or messages on regular account statements;
•Inclusion of inserts with statements issued by post;
•Inclusion of references in telephone scripts;
•Separate mailshots of leaflets;
•Inclusion of notices on application forms and loan documentation;
•Provision of posters and leaflets in branches.
In addition, information provided by the Central Bank in the consumer area of www.centralcreditregister.ie should be leveraged in this regard.
Section 24 of the Act requires that CIPs include a notice on credit application forms, stating that the Act requires the provision of information to the CCR in relation to credit applications and credit agreements.
The Credit Reporting Act 2013 (Section 24) (Notices) Regulations 2016 Regulation sets out the specific text of the notice to be used by CIPs:
NOTICE: Under the Credit Reporting Act 2013 lenders are required to provide personal and credit information for credit applications and credit agreements of €500 and above to the Central Credit Register. This information will be held on the Central Credit Register and may be used by other lenders when making decisions on your credit applications and credit agreements.
The Central Bank suggests adding the following text underneath this notice:
The Central Credit Register is owned and operated by the Central Bank of Ireland. For more information see www.centralcreditregister.ie
Requirements in respect of the notice itself:
•The notice must be delineated by a box, be in bold type and of a font size that is at least equal to the predominant font size used throughout the credit application form.
•CIPS must ensure that this notice has equal prominence as the main terms and conditions associated with the credit application or agreement.
•This notice should be included on credit application forms from no later than 30 June 2017 so that credit applicants are aware that their personal and credit information relating to credit agreements will be provided to the CCR.
•Many CIPs, as part of application documentation, obtain from credit applicants consent to provide information to credit reference bureaux and to permit the CIP to check such databases. It is important that the wording of any such documentation is reviewed to make a clear distinction between the statutory notice required for the CCR and any consent obtained for other purposes.
A CIP is obliged to make an enquiry where that person has made a relevant credit application to the CIP, i.e. an application for credit for €2,000 or more. In the case of a joint application, i.e. more than one person is applying as part of the same credit application, the CIP has a legal obligation to make an enquiry on every person who has made a relevant application.
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