Experian: Disclosure of Information

Treasury written question – answered on 25th April 2023.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what redress is available to energy customers who dispute the accuracy of information provided to Experian by energy companies.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Information on a credit report should be purely factual. For example, if a consumer has incurred arrears with an energy company that shares information with Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), then these arrears will have been recorded on the consumer’s credit report.

If a consumer believes that an item on their credit report is inaccurate, they can raise a dispute with the CRA they received their report from, or with the organisation that supplied the information. If an organisation fails to correct any inaccuracies with the information that they have supplied to a CRA, a consumer can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights, and it enforces the Data Protection Act.

The ICO can tell organisations such as energy companies to help resolve a consumer’s complaint, including requiring an organisation to correct any inaccuracies. The ICO cannot award compensation, even when it gives an opinion that an organisation has broken data protection law. However, consumers have a right to claim compensation from an organisation if they have suffered damage as a result of it breaking data protection law. This includes both material damage, for example where a consumer has lost money, or non-material damage, for example where a consumer has suffered distress. They can do this by contacting the organisation directly or by making a claim in court.

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No1 person thinks not

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