Permanent TSB to cover cost for credit report errors

Permanent TSB is set to cover the costs for affected customers looking to get accurate personal credit rating reports after admitting that it had, in some cases, supplied wrong information to the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB).

An internal audit by the bank — prompted by similar instances coming to light at AIB — has found mistakes were made regarding some customers’ loan repayment details supplied to the ICB.

While it is too early to know how many Permanent TSB customers are affected, it is known that the misreporting only relates to a small number of personal loan customers and not its mortgage book.

The bank apologised to affected customers, adding that it was taking “immediate steps to resolve this issue and rectify the matter”. It will, however, pay the €6 credit rating report fee for any affected customer.

The Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, yesterday urged all consumers to check the accuracy of their credit ratings in the wake of a growing number of errors being made by the banks.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has been auditing Irish banks since August’s admission by AIB that it had, over a six-year period, misreported the credit histories of 12,000 customers to the ICB.

The role of the ICB is to collate consumer credit histories on behalf of the banks, which, in turn, can use the information to judge how credit worthy customers are.

The AIB cases, which have been rectified, resulted in customers’ credit ratings seeming worse than they were, something which was likely to have impacted on the ability of some to access credit.

While it is feared the problem could be widespread, it is understood that the ODPC has completed its audits of Bank of Ireland and National Irish Bank, although the results are not known as yet.

Ulster Bank is due to be audited shortly, a spokesperson saying yesterday that the bank would “fully co-operate with the ODPC in this regard”.

Mr Hawkes said he hoped instances that had already come to light would alert other financial institutions into checking their own systems.

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