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Positive Credit Reporting widespread in New Zealand lending

With positive credit reporting increasingly being talked about, MoneyHub investigated which banks were reporting their customers’ positive and negative data to credit agencies. While negative instances of defaults on debt, late payments, uncollected payments and bankruptcies have always been reported to credit agencies, the arrival of positive credit reporting benefits customers who make on-time payments, early repayments and overpayments.

Senior Researcher Christopher Walsh comments:
“Recently, more and more of New Zealand’s banks have been engaging in ‘positive reporting’, also known as ‘comprehensive credit reporting’. This rewards those who are conscientious in their repayments by reporting their behaviour to credit agencies, ultimately giving lenders a better picture of a borrower’s behaviour”.

“As is the case with every application for a credit card, mortgage or other types of loan, customer credit data comes from information supplied by lenders and other companies all over New Zealand – being late on a bill can be added to your credit file, making it harder when it comes to applying for more credit down the line”.

“We wanted to know what banks do with your data. Specifically, how much data are they sharing, who do they share it with, and how this affects ordinary New Zealanders.”

“We approached every major bank and asked them to disclose their credit assessment partners and whether they engage in positive reporting for credit card, personal loan and mortgage applications and subsequent behaviour”.

“The responses suggested larger banks all undertook positive credit reporting (or planned to introduce it during 2018), whereas the smaller banks such as SBS, TSB and the Co-operative bank did not. This means that customers of the smaller banks with loans or credit cards could have relatively less credit history than those banking with providers who undertake positive credit reporting”.

“While we noted that Equifax dominates as the preferred agency for credit data overall, some banks confirmed they source credit data from multiple agencies when considering a customer’s application for credit”.

“We wanted to make it easy for every New Zealander to check their credit score and history, and our guide to credit scores and credit checks does this. Busting myths and misconceptions around credit scores builds financial confidence and hopefully encourages improved money management”.

Lenders and Data: What Your Bank Knows About You...and Who Else Gets to Know It
Bank Positive Agency Credit
Agency Credit Data Requested from
Reporting? Data Sent to

ANZ Yes Equifax
Equifax

ASB Yes Multiple* Multiple*
BNZ Due in 2018** Equifax Equifax
Co-Operative Bank No Won't Disclose Equifax
Heartland Bank Yes Multiple* Multiple*
Kiwibank Yes Equifax Equifax
SBS No Equifax
Equifax
TSB No Won't Disclose Won't Disclose
Westpac Yes Equifax Equifax
Notes:
* The ASB and Heartland Bank both stated it uses multiple credit agencies when supplying and requesting customer information
** The BNZ stated while it doesn't currently undertake positive reporting, it confirmed it would be introducing it in 2018

MoneyHub would continue to update its credit scoring and reporting guide on a regular basis and as developments came to light.

More: Credit Reporting

ends

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