Important Data Protection:
A Guide to the use of your personal data by Kesef, LTD
d/b/a Countrywide Payday and Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies
Q: What is a credit reference agency?
A: Credit reference agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information on consumers'
and businesses' credit behaviour, on behalf of organisations in the UK.
Q: What is a fraud prevention agency?
A: Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) collect, maintain and share, information on
known and suspected fraudulent activity. Some CRAs also act as FPAs.
Q: Why do you use them when I have applied to your organisation?
A: Although you have applied to us [organisation name] and we will check our own
records, we will also contact CRAs to get information on your credit behaviour with
other organisations. This will help us make the best possible assessment of your
overall situation before we make a decision.
Q: Where do they get the information?
A: • publicly available information: -
- The Electoral Register from Local Authorities
- County Court Judgments from Registry Trust.
- Bankruptcy (and other similar orders) from the Insolvency Service.
• Fraud information may also come from fraud prevention agencies.
• Credit information comes from information on applications to banks, building
societies, credit card companies etc and also from the conduct of those accounts.
Q: How will I know if my information is to be sent to a CRA or FPA?
A: You will be told when you apply for an account if your application data is to be
supplied. The next section of this leaflet will tell you how, when and why we will
search at CRAs and FPAs and what we will do with the information we obtain from them.
We will also tell you if we plan to send payment history information on you or your
business, if you have one, to CRAs. You can ask at any time the name of CRAs and FPAs.
Q: Why is my data used in this way?
A: We and other organisations want to make the best possible decisions we can, in
order to make sure that you, or your business, will be able to repay us. Some
organisations may also use the information to check your identity. In this way we can
ensure that we all make responsible decisions. At the same time we also want to make
decisions quickly and easily and, by using up to date information, provided
electronically, we are able to make the most reliable and fair decisions possible.
Q: Who controls what such agencies are allowed to do with my data?
A: All organisations that collect and process personal data are regulated by the
Data Protection Act 1998, overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office. All
credit reference agencies are in regular dialogue with the Commissioner. Use of the
Electoral Register is controlled under the Representation of the People Act 2000.
Q: Can just anyone look at my data held at credit reference agencies?
A: No, access to your information is very strictly controlled and only those that
are entitled to do so, may see it. Usually that will only be with your agreement or
(very occasionally) if there is a legal requirement.
Please read this section very carefully, it will vary from lender to lender.
What we do
1) When you apply to us to open an account, this organisation will:
a) Check our own records for information on:
i) Your personal accounts;
ii) and, if you have one, your financial associates' personal accounts;
iii) if you are an owner, director or partner in a small business we may also
check on your business accounts.
b) Search at credit reference agencies for information on: -
i. Your personal accounts: -
ii. and, if you are making a joint application now or have ever done the following
we will check your financial associates’ personal accounts as well: -
- previously made joint applications
- have joint account(s);
- are financially linked ;
iii) if you are a director or partner in a small business we may also check
on your business accounts;
c) Search at fraud prevention agencies for information on you and any addresses
at which you have lived and on your business (if you have one)
2) What we do with the information you supply to us as part of the application: -
a) Information that is supplied to us will be sent to the credit reference agencies.
b) If you are making a joint application or tell us that you have a spouse or
financial associate, we will: -
i) Search, link and/or record information at credit reference agencies about
ii) Link any individual identified as your financial associate, in our own records
iii) Take both your and their information into account in future applications by either
or both of you.
iv) Continue this linking until the account closes, or is changed to a sole account
and one of you notifies us that you are no longer linked.
So you must be sure that you have their agreement to disclose information about them.
c) If you give us false or inaccurate information and we suspect or identify fraud
we will record this and may also pass this information to fraud prevention agencies
and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention.
d) Your data may also be used by us to offer you other products, but only if you
have given your permission. That will be on the front of any form that you have
3) With the information that we obtain we will: -
a) Assess this application for credit and/or;
b) Check details on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities
c) Verify your identity and the identity of your spouse, partner or other directors/partners and/or;
d) Undertake checks for the prevention and detection of crime, fraud and/or money laundering.
e) We may use scoring methods to assess this application and to verify your identity.
f) Manage your personal and/or business account (if you have one) with ourselves.
g) Undertake periodic statistical analysis or testing to ensure the accuracy of existing and future products and services.
h) Any or all of these processes may be automated.
4) What we do when you have an account: -
a) Where you borrow or may borrow from us, we will give details of your personal
and/or business account (if you have one), including names and parties to the account
and how you manage it/them to credit reference agencies.
b) If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, we will tell credit reference
c) We may make periodic searches of our own group records and at credit reference
agencies to manage your account with us, including whether to make credit available
or to continue or extend existing credit. We may also check at fraud prevention
agencies to prevent or detect fraud.
d) If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe us, we will
trace your whereabouts and recover debts.
What Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies do
5) When credit reference agencies receive a search from us they will:
a) Place a search "footprint" on your credit file whether or not this application proceeds.
If the search was for a credit application the record of that search (but not the name
of the organisation that carried it out) may be seen by other organisations when you
apply for credit in the future.
b) Link together the records of you and anyone that you have advised is your
financial associate including previous and subsequent names of parties to the account.
Links between financial associates will remain on your and their files until such
time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the credit
6) Supply to us: -
c) Credit information such as previous applications and the conduct of the accounts
in your name and of your associate(s) (if there is a link between you – see 1b above)
and/or your business accounts (if you have one).
d) Public information such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) and bankruptcies.
e) Electoral Register information.
f) Fraud prevention information.
7) When information is supplied by us, to them, on your account(s): -
a) Credit reference agencies will record the details that are supplied on your
personal and/or business account (if you have one) including any previous and
subsequent names that have been used by the accountholders and how you/they manage
b) If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, credit reference agencies
will record the outstanding debt.
c) Records shared with credit reference agencies remain on file for 6 years after
they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.
8) How your data will NOT be used by credit reference agencies: -
a) It will not be used to create a blacklist.
b) It will not be used by the credit reference agency to make a decision.
9) How your data WILL be used by credit reference agencies:
a) The information which we and other organisations provide to the credit reference
agencies about you, your financial associates and your business (if you have one)
may be supplied by credit reference agencies to other organisations and used by
i) Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering by, for example checking details
provided on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities
ii) Check the operation of credit and credit-related accounts
iii) Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities.
iv) Make decisions on credit and credit related services about you, your partner,
other members of your household or your business.
v) Manage your personal, your partner’s and/or business (if you have one) credit
or credit related account or other facilities.
vi) Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
vii) Undertake statistical analysis and system testing.
10) How your data may be used by fraud prevention agencies:
a) The information which we provide to the fraud prevention agencies about you,
your financial associates and your business (if you have one) may be supplied by
fraud prevention agencies to other organisations and used by them and us to :
i) Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering by, for example;
(1) checking details provided on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities
(2) Managing credit and credit related accounts or facilities
(3) Cross Checking details provided on proposals and claims for all types of insurance.
(4) Checking details on applications for jobs or when checked as part of employment
b) Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities
including all types of insurance proposals and claims.
c) Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
d) Conduct other checks to prevent or detect fraud
e) Undertake statistical analysis and system testing.
11) Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific
permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted
under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.
12) Your data may also be used to offer you other products, but only where permitted
How to find out more
You can contact the CRAs currently operating in the UK; the information they hold may
not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small
• CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414
• Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0870 010 0583
or log on to www.myequifax.co.uk
• Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF
or call 0844 4818000 or log on to www.experian.co.uk.
• Teletrack UK Limited, Customer Service PO Box 9424, Nottingham, NG9 9DS