The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are delaying the launch of their Credit Information Market Study (CIMS) Terms of Reference until June 2019.
The FCA remain committed to launching this market study. However, they’ve decided to delay its launch from Q4 2018/19 to June 2019 to prioritise resource to launching the market study on general insurance pricing, which was not previously announced in the FCA business plan as a market study.
Background to the Credit Information Market Study
The consultation on assessing creditworthiness in consumer credit, the regulator invited views on firms’ access to, and use of, credit information including the coverage, timeliness and consistency of data and products provided by credit reference agencies (CRAs).
Building on the responses received, the FCA announced in their Business Plan 2018/19 that they would launch a market study on credit information in Q4 2018/19. The regulator outlined that they would collect evidence to gain a better understanding of the potential for harm in this market and, if necessary, identify remedies.
The importance of credit information
Consumers’ credit information affects how likely they are to be able to access a range of financial services, including mortgages, loans and credit cards. Credit reference agencies play an important role in the provision of this information to inform firms’ assessments of credit risk and affordability. Consumers may experience harm if this information is not shared effectively or is not of good quality through inappropriate lending decisions or restricted access to credit.