Principles Of Reciprocity

What are the Principles of Reciprocity?

The Principles of Reciprocity are a series of data-sharing standards that are adhered to across the industry. In short, they ensure the fair trade of information by encouraging those who require data from external sources to share their own. It is the backbone of credit reporting, and all Credit Reference Agencies.

SCOR produced the Principles of Reciprocity after consultation with financial trade associations and regulatory bodies. The Principles set out the rules for the recording, supply and access of credit performance data shared through the Credit Reference Agencies. The `Governing` principle is that data should only be shared for the prevention of over-commitment, bad debt, fraud and money laundering, and to support debt recovery and debtor tracing, with the aim of promoting responsible lending. Thus, credit account data is submitted and shared by lenders according to these principles, via the credit reference agencies.

In summary the principles are:

  • Data is shared only for the prevention of over-commitment, bad debt, fraud and money laundering, and to support debt recovery and debtor tracing, with the aim of promoting responsible lending.
  • Data provided for sharing purposes must meet legal, regulatory and voluntary code of practice requirements before provision and in use. Subscribers must use data only for purposes for which the required form of consent has been given.
  • Data will be shared on the principle that subscribers receive the same credit performance level data that they contribute, and should contribute all such data available.
  • Data may be used or made available by the CRAs only in ways permitted by these Principles
  • Subscribers must never use shared data to target any customers of other specific subscribers.
  • Shared data must not be used to identify and select new prospects.
  • Subscribers have responsibility for regular monitoring and certification of their own compliance with the Principles, and the quality, completeness and accuracy of data supplied. If the use of raw data is managed in-house rather than by the CRA then the use of that data should be closely monitored by subscribers to ensure it meets POR obligations. Such compliance may be for internal purposes or in response to a request from a CRA or SCOR.

The scope of these principles is all consumer credit performance and related data shared through the Credit Reference Agencies. The following established data and data sharing schemes fall outside these principles; CML Possession Register, HPI Register, Hunter, CIFAS, GAIN, public information and all business records.


Q: Do the principles change/ update?

A: Yes, the guidelines will get updated in-line with new legislation or changes to the market coming into place. Since they were established in the 1990s, the principles have been updated regularly, with the 39th version currently available to view on SCOR’s website.

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