FIANNA Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has called for clarification of the impact on customers of an error by AIB in its reporting of missed loan repayments to the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) over a six year period.
Deputy McGrath was speaking following confirmation from AIB that the reporting error will have resulted in an incorrect statement of the affected customer’s repayment history to the ICB.
Deputy McGrath stated, “AIB has confirmed that it has mis-reported the repayment history of about 12,000 customers to the ICB over a six year period. The issue seems to be that where a customer missed a number of weekly or fortnightly repayments, AIB incorrectly reported the number of missed weekly or fortnightly repayments rather than the number of equivalent months overdue as required by the ICB.
“The bottom line here is that, because of a serious mistake by AIB, the ICB has been holding incorrect information on file for up to 12,000 bank customers since 2006. This could potentially have affected credit decisions made by financial institutions relying on the accuracy of the information held by the ICB. In some cases, people may have been denied credit based on the details held on file by the ICB. In addition, people may well have paid for the details on their credit report and have been given incorrect information.
“I believe AIB and the ICB need to clarify what possible implications this incorrect reporting of their credit history could have had for the 12,000 customers affected. When people apply for a loan of any description, they assume in good faith that the institution they are applying to has access to complete and accurate information concerning their record in respect of previous loans. Customers should be aware that all records remain on the ICB database for 5 years even after the loan or account has been closed.
“In addition, given that over 140 lending institutions register information with the ICB concerning customers’ repayment record, customers need to be reassured that other institutions have not made the same mistake as AIB. In my view, both AIB and the ICB need to make a statement providing more information on the impact of all of this on customers.”