Background

Prior to March 2014, the Australian credit reporting regime permitted the collection of negative data only. Veda led a determined campaign to modernise the credit reporting laws and bring Australia in line with the rest of the developed world. 
 
The campaign commenced in 2006 with the Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) review of privacy legislation. Privacy laws restricted what data could be recorded on a credit report. Veda supported more significant reforms and campaigned for the inclusion of positive data such as account repayment history.
 
The Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) modelled account payment history. It found that account repayment history would contribute 44% of a credit report's predictive power. In contrast, the negative data fields contributed only 10% per cent predictive power. The massive boost in the predictive power of credit reports would significantly improve the industry's ability to predict and prevent credit defaults.  
 
As a result, the Privacy (Enabling Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 was passed in December with the regulations under the Act to be issued in February 2013. These chances allowed for the collection and sharing of five new positive data fields as of 12 March 2014. 
 
New Comprehensive Data Fields:
  • Date account opened
  • Current Limit of account
  • Nature of credit account
  • Date account closed
  • Account payment history (licensed credit providers)

Key Dates:

  • November 2012: Comprehensive Credit Reporting passes Parliament
  • December 2012: Royal Assent with the signature of the Governor General
  • April 2013: Draft Credit reporting code is available for public consultation
  • June 2013: Regulations are passed
  • July 2013: Draft Credit reporting code is lodged with the OAIC: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
  • September 2013: OAIC public consultation on Credit reporting code
  • December 2013: OAIC approves credit reporting code
  • March 2014: New Credit reporting & Privacy Laws start

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