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Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has released the annual compliance assurance reports submitted by the three national consumer credit reporters.

“I am encouraged to see the credit reporters are actively promoting the consumer’s right to access their credit information for free and are continuing to make improvements in their communications to consumers,” Mr Edwards said.

Equifax (previously Veda) has made available various channels for individuals to request their free credit file, including its website, phone, email and post.

Dun & Bradstreet displays a link on its homepage for individuals seeking their credit report. The link provides information on the different options for obtaining a credit report, including the free option.

Centrix highlights an individual’s right to a free credit report via three channels – its website, its contact centre and directly to Centrix subscribers.

From April 2012, credit providers like banks, finance companies and some utility companies have been allowed to share more information with credit reporters. This includes information like the amount of credit a person has and whether they made all their monthly payments.

“Internal assurance reviews and reports are a key accountability process in this new information rich environment” Mr Edwards said.

The credit reporting assurance reports, which were all submitted on time and identified no significant compliance problems, can be found here.

Note for editors

The Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004 was issued by the Privacy Commissioner under the Privacy Act 1993 and has the force of law. It requires credit reporters to submit annual compliance reports, one of several accountability mechanisms. The credit reporters are required to appoint an independent person to the internal committee that reviews compliance with the code.

The Privacy Commissioner makes the reports public to promote transparency and accountability in the handling of New Zealander’s sensitive financial information.

A PDF version of this media release is available here.

For more information, contact Charles Mabbett on 021 509 735.