Consumer credit looking better

By Staff Writer

Credit bureaus create consumer credit profiles based on credit information received from credit providers, courts and utility service providers. The National Credit Regulator regulates and monitors registered credit bureaus and the quality of their data.

As at the end of September 2010, credit bureaus had records for 18.35 million credit-active consumers.

Of the 18.35 million credit-active consumers, 53.7% (9.86m) were classified as in good standing, this improved from the previous quarter. Gabriel Davel, CEO of the National Credit Regulator, notes that this is the first improvement in consumers' credit reports since December 2007.

"This may be indicative of an important shift, but we would have to assess future quarters to confirm whether this is a sustained improvement."

The number of consumers with impaired records decreased to 8.49m this reporting quarter. This indicates an improvement in the credit records of 97 000 consumers quarter-on-quarter.

In terms of accounts, the number of impaired accounts decreased by 505 000, to 16.55 million. This is an improvement of 0.4% over the previous quarter.

A total of 189.84 million enquiries were made on consumer credit records, an increase of 40.3% quarter-on-quarter and 29.8% year-on-year. Enquiries initiated by consumers accounted for 10.65 million of all enquiries, an increase of 3.7% quarter-on-quarter and 17.7% year-on-year.

Of the total enquiries made on consumer records, enquiries from banks and other financial institutions accounted for 40.2%, enquiries from retailers accounted for 30.5% and enquiries from telecommunications providers accounted for 14.4%. Banks and other financial institutions' enquiries increased by 45.8% from the previous quarter, retailers increased by 158.8% and telecommunication providers decreased by 13.1%, compared to the previous quarter.

The number of credit reports issued to consumers increased to 74,812. Of the total credit reports issued, 82.3% (61,592) were issued without charge, and the remaining 17.6% (13,220) were issued with charge.

There were 22,569 disputes lodged on information held on consumer credit records for the quarter ended September 2010, which was an increase of 69.7% quarter-on-quarter and 117.1% year-on-year.

Comparisons in this release - 'quarter-on-quarter' refers to a comparison between the June 2010 and March 2010 quarters, and 'year-on-year' refers to a comparison between the June 2010 and June 2009 quarters.

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