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What are the Principles of Reciprocity?

The Principles of Reciprocity are a set of guidelines governing the sharing of personal credit performance and related data via the closed user groups of the credit reference agencies currently Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

They were prepared following extensive discussion among lenders, trade associations and regulatory bodies on the use of consumer information during the 1990s.

The intention is to ensure that all companies that use and/or subscribe shared data undertake to abide by the Principles of Reciprocity, on the basis that “subscribers receive the same credit performance level data that they contribute, and should contribute all such data available”.

The main thrust of the Principles of Reciprocity is that data are shared only for the prevention of over-commitment, bad debt, fraud and money laundering and to support debt recovery and debtor tracing, to aid responsible lending.

The credit reference agencies include compliance with the Principles of Reciprocity in their client contracts and they have a responsibility to ensure that they only supply data in accordance with the Principles.

Members of the credit reference agencies should ensure that compliance with the Principles of Reciprocity forms a part of their own internal audit procedures. SCOR, through the credit reference agencies, will seek confirmation of compliance with the Principles of Reciprocity from each data sharer or user.

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