Covid 19 Status

In line with HM Government requirements to fight the spread of Covid-19 we have measures in place to ensure that we protect our staff, their families and the wider community, but also to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our customers.

Your access to online Multi Agency Credit Reports, Expert Help and Account Management remains unaffected. We take great pride in the support that we provide to our customers and throughout this period will do all we can to minimise the impact on our services. While the country remains in lockdown we will continue to support your queries via a dedicated and experienced team that will be securely working from home, and supported by a Management Team that will continue to be based at our head office and who will be able to provide customer support as required.

The security measures that we have in place to protect your Personal Data, in line with our Privacy Policy, will mean that some elements of our personalised support are affected during this period as our support team will be working with anonymised data when working remotely. Freephone access to our Credit Analysts has been removed during this period while we focus our efforts on continuing to reply to all of your emails and secure messages within one working day.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.



What's a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) & Why is it on my Report?

Posted by Paul Anderson-Riley in Identity Theft on 28 February 2020 - Paul is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

PEP stands for Politically Exposed Person, which typically relates to an individual who holds a prominent public position or function. Through their public position, there is potential that they may be vulnerable to financial crime, such as bribery, money laundering, and general abuse of public office for personal gain.

Politically Exposed Persons information is strictly separate to Credit Reports held at the Credit Reference Agencies but, during a credit application, lenders will often check a separate PEP database to properly understand any potential risk involved with their prospective customer, as required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Your Multi Agency Credit Report collates, not just your complete Credit Report information from the Credit Reference Agencies, but also supplementary data that might be checked when you make an application, including PEP records, Financial Sanctions, and the Death Register. This helps you know exactly what other information – in addition to your Credit Report – might be checked when you submit an application for credit.

It’s important to note that just because your name has been matched to a Politically Exposed Persons register, it does not necessarily mean you are politically exposed. Instead, it means that someone who shares your name is a PEP and, because of this, you might be subject to an extra identity check whenever you apply for credit.

If you aren’t a PEP but you share a name with someone who is politically exposed, you have no reason to worry. Sharing a name with a PEP does not damage your Credit Score or reduce your likelihood of being accepted for credit. Once a lender has ascertained that you are not politically exposed, your application will continue as normal.

If you are legitimately a PEP, lending institutions have legal obligations to conduct thorough checks to counter possible corruption stemming from abuse of public office, such as bribery and money laundering. This heightened due diligence is a responsibility overseen by the FCA. Organisations are permitted to do business with PEPs but are only expected to do so as long as they can manage the associated risk effectively.

What is a PEP?

A PEP can relate to a person with an important, public profile or anyone closely associated with them, including colleagues or family members.

Those identified as a PEP can include:

  • MPs
  • Heads of State
  • Ministers/assistant ministers
  • Ambassadors or Chargés d'affaires
  • High-ranking military officers
  • High-up members of state-owned business entities
  • High-level judicial bodies
  • Central bank board members
  • Members of courts of auditors

Can a PEP affect my credit applications?

If you’re not a PEP but your name has been matched to a Politically Exposed Persons database, you will likely not notice any difference in your credit applications. The lender may undergo an extra identity check to rule you out as being politically exposed. This can be done by checking your addresses, Electoral Roll information, occupation, date of birth, and more.

You won’t be expected to pay more for credit if your name has been matched to a Politically Exposed Persons register and your creditworthiness will not be tainted in any way. At most, the application may take slightly longer – if even that.

If you genuinely are a Politically Exposed Person, you may be subject to more in-depth checks when you apply for credit.

This is because when a financial institution is dealing with someone who has this status they must take additional care as the person often carries an increased risk as a customer. Due diligence is required as a result of a heightened threat of fraud, bribery and corruption so additional checks are carried out which can include anti-money laundering checks, counter-terrorist checks or identification checks.

Can I have a PEP removed?

A PEP match cannot be removed from your name. This is because a PEP record is not directly attributable to you as an individual and it is a correct reflection of your name (not you as an individual) on a PEP list.

PEP lists are shared by domestic and foreign governments around the world, highlighting and recording individuals those states deem politically exposed. It’s not possible to dispute a foreign nation’s resolution that another individual (who happens to share your name) is politically exposed.

Similarly, you may find you have multiple PEP entries, especially if you have a relatively common name. This is of course not a suggestion you are multiple people, just that your name has been matched to multiple different people who are considered PEPs.

To reiterate, if you are not politically exposed but your name has been matched to a PEP list, your Credit Score, ability to obtain credit, and cost of credit will not be adversely impacted so there is no reason to worry.

How to check if your name is matched to a PEP

You can check to see if your name is on a PEP register by viewing your Multi Agency Credit Report with checkmyfile. Our Multi Agency Credit Report is the most detailed Credit Report in the UK and the only one to offer your complete data from all four Credit Reference Agencies – all on one easy to use platform.

You can trial checkmyfile free for 30 days, after which it costs just £14.99 per month. You can easily cancel online at any time during or after the free trial, or by freephone or email. Should you need any guidance with your Credit Report, our professionally qualified team of Credit Analysts is accessible through your account.

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For people facing financial hardship, sometimes taking out a loan to tide things over can seem like the most viable solution. But if you’re out of work or have a lower-than-average credit rating, it can be harder to get credit from mainstream lenders and mean that more expensive forms of finance in the sub-prime market are the only viable option. It often feels like a hopeless situation.

Published on 8 Jun 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Protecting yourself against identity theft online

Modern day fraudsters are now able to use the internet as a helpful tool to acquire a vast amount of information about an individual just from using their name. From this, they start to build a portfolio of data that they can then use to obtain credit, bank accounts and sign up for other services. By following a few simple steps you can help to reduce the risk of being exposed to a fraudster online.

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Personal Data in the Wake of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica

Strange as it might sound to some, huge numbers of people routinely complete online surveys through Facebook to find out which football player they are most like, which Hogwarts house they should be in or how much money they will be earning in 2050. The truth is, every time you volunteer seemingly innocuous information or consent to share profile information with an app, your data is probably going somewhere to be used for another purpose.

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Identity Fraud: What To Do If It Happens To You

Year on year, there has been a substantial rise in the number of identity fraud cases being reported to organisations such as Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. It’s no real surprise when you consider the crime can be committed from the comfort of someone’s home without ever having to risk showing their face.

Published on 6 Feb 2018 by George Coburn

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Brits continuing to fall for HMRC and Apple gift card scam

At the face of it, it seems a bit odd that the company responsible for collecting taxes would request payment from individuals in the form of an Apple iTunes gift card, but according to Action Fraud, this scam has continued to be profitable for fraudsters. The scheme first came to light in May last year and Action Fraud have received hundreds of complaints since then.

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