Credit Information Association Publishes Draft Code of Conduct to Protect Borrowers

draft credit information sharing association code of conduct

The Credit Information Sharing Association of Kenya has today published the draft credit information sharing code of conduct.

The draft code of conduct was released in compliance to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Regulation 2020 that was published under Gazette Notice No. 55 of April 8 2020.

The CRB Regulation 2020 were issued pursuant to Section 31 (3) of the Banking Act and replaced the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013. The revised regulations were intended to strengthen Kenya’s Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System that was been operation since 2010. It also seeked to enhance consumer protection for borrowers, expand the sources of information and ensure sustainability of the CIS.

The new draft code of conduct published by the CIS outlines the minimum ethical requirements of the Association and provides for a self-regulatory framework.

Some of the data sharing principles under this code include:

  • Lawfulness – Customer information must be shared in accordance to applicable laws and regulations and international best practice
  • Minimality – Sharing of credit information must be timely, relevant and not excessive and restricted to what is permitted by law.
  • Consent and Puprose Specification – Members are required to obtain clear and specific consents from their customers to share their credit information
  • Information use – Consumer credit information must not be used by a member or reported by a credit bureau in any way incompatible with purposes for which it has been collected.
  • Data Retention Periods – CRBs will only expunge information from their data bases within the confines of the law
  • Information Quality – Credit information must be accurate, complete and up to date.
  • Notification to consumers – Members must issue customers with specific pre-listing, post-listing and adverse action notices as well as any other notice stipulated in the regulations
  • Full file sharing – Members should share full file information daily with all licensed CRBs.
  • Fair treatment of customers – Members shall act in a manner tthat does not discriminate against any customer
  • Customer complaints and dispute resolution – Members undertake to maintain functional and efficient dispute resolution process and to educate customers on their rights.

They say that the proposed code can be reviewed and may be amended through consultations with members as need arises.

These codes are needed to bring back sanity to the use of CRBs in Kenya. That is why the Central Bank started by denying unregulated digital lenders access to CRBs of which we have listed some here. They also added key reforms to the CRB Regulations like a minimum threshold of Kshs 1000 for negative credit information, SACCOs being added as subcribers of credit data and first time CRB clearance certificates will be provided by CRBs at no charge.