The Fair Reporting of Credit Act comes into effect from today.
Attorney General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed‑Khaiyum says the Data Bureau will have to hand over all the existing data to the Reserve Bank of Fiji.
He also adds that any organisation, company or business that wants to become a Credit Reporting Agency needs to apply to the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the application fees will be $3,000.
The Finance Minister says that if a company is successful then it will get a licence of ten years.
The companies will also need to apply for the Credit Reporting Recipient so that nobody can walk off the street and become the recipient of anyone’s personal information.
The RBF will approve the application of the company or organisation to become the Credit Reporting Recipient and the application fees will be $1,000 for a year.
He stresses that people must pay their debts so that no legal action is taken against them.
Meanwhile the Data Bureau’s Gary Callaghan had earlier confirmed that they have permanently ceased all credit collection and reporting activities immediately after the new Act was passed.
Callghan says contrary to what the Consumer Council says, every consumer who has established with evidence on the bureau their very good credit history is going to have a problem proving that credit worthiness. He says these are the vast majority of consumers and people in Fiji.
Callaghan says Premila Kumar says since 2008 they have received 47 complaints against the Data Bureau and it reflected the invasion of privacy, inaccurate information and even the listing of names for 7 long years despite clearing the loan.
He says the facts are that the council has raised 14 issues with Data Bureau over the last 15 years.
Callaghan says they have all been resolved, mostly because the complaint was not valid in the first place.
He also says that all searches on the bureau and loading of data was always done with the consumers consent.
This article first appeared on www.fijivillage.com.fj on May 27, 2016.