Customers who were affected by the recent collapse in the NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank systems, have been warned that their credit file could be impacted by any missed payments.
The Payments Council has said that it is working hard with credit agencies to try and prevent any unfair black marks, but admitted customers may be better off getting a copy of their records to check.
After the meltdown in the banking systems, many payments were either incorrectly rejected due to a lack of funds or payments were late being processed, due to no fault of the customer. The banks have promised that no customer will suffer an incorrect entry on their credit file, but the practicalities of keeping such a pledge are proving difficult to keep.
The Payments Council is working closely with the major credit agencies, such as Experian and Equifax, to make sure that any negative entries due to a banking error are erased. However, experts have warned that it make take several weeks for all the transactions to filter through.
Equifax has confirmed that it could take up to eight weeks for any erroneous entries to appear and have suggested waiting until August at the earliest, to request a copy of their credit file.
The head of external affairs from Equifax, Neil Munroe, acknowledged that some customers may be concerned that the financial hiccups caused by the problems in the banking system, could not be accurately recorded on their credit file. But he added that it frequently takes ‘six to eight weeks’ for data from credit accounts to filter through to ratings agencies, meaning that ordering a copy of your credit file too soon, could lead to false reassurances.
However, Mr Munroe also said the number of customers affected should be relatively low, as the majority of lenders did not record a payment as late until 10 days had passed.