8 Feb 2013

Some companies given access to customers' credit history

7:10 am on 8 February 2013

The Privacy Commissioner is allowing banks, finance companies and credit insurers access to their customers' credit history as a way to crack down on money laundering.

Under the new regime which kicks in at the end of June, the finance industry will have to verify their customers' identities to ensure they're trading with real people.

Privacy Commissioner, Marie Shroff, has now amended the Credit Reporting Privacy Code so certain companies can do that by checking their customers' credit history.

She says consumers have nothing to fear.

"This has been done in a restricted way, in a balanced way, to protect consumers while giving the industry reasonable access.

"At this stage I don't think consumers have anything to worry about here because there are several safeguards in place to protect consumer interests."

Ms Shroff says the amendment also continues the obligation for credit providers to tell customers if their information will be shared with credit reporters.