The Fiji Parliament has passed the Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016. This is the first legislation of its nature and is aimed at ensuring that credit history of Fiji nationals are fairly and properly recorded with credit agencies.
We will publish a paper on this Act shortly but in the meantime the following key developments have been brought about by the new Act:
- All credit agencies will now be required to obtain a licence to engage in the business credit reporting and recording;
- Once effective, the Act will have the effect of requiring all credit reporting agencies to cease operations until they obtain a licence to report from the Reserve Bank of Fiji which will act as the regulator;
- The Act will also require for any existing credit data to be verified by the Reserve Bank prior to it being recording.
By way of background, credit reporting and recording has been unregulated and had been subject of many complaints by borrowers due to adverse data associated with borrowers. Data Bureau Limited is the only prominent data reporting and recording agency in Fiji.
Notwithstanding the complaints, most financial agencies, hire purchase businesses and businesses selling goods on credit readily used the credit data from Data Bureau Limited for credit and risk assessments.