advocacy and regulation
page considers Australian, New Zealand and overseas credit
reporting industry advocacy and regulatory bodies.
It covers -
private security sector is discussed here.
industry advocacy groups
The spectrum of enterprises from those whose employees
tend servers to those whose employees kick down doors
is reflected in the spread of industry organisations.
Associated Credit Bureaux New Zealand Inc (ACBNZ)
is an industry body comprising New Zealand businesses
with professional involvement in credit reporting, debt
collection, process serving and repossession. It was established
in 1994 after passage of the 1993 New Zealand Privacy
Act and essentially represents enterprises other
than Veda Advantage and Trans-Tasman Collections.
The Australian Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA)
represents the interests of debt collectors, investigators,
process servers and repossession agents. It was established
Its site notes that as investigators its members are -
upon to inquire into, and obtain information about,
the personal character
or actions of persons, together with the character or
nature of the business or occupation of any person.
as collectors IMA members are -
upon to make demands for payment of overdue debts (often
pursuant to a formal contract) and to enter into dialogue
with individual and corporate debtors in order to achieve
resolution on the delinquent account whether by full
or part recovery or by establishing that the debtor
does not have the means to pay the account.
the US the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA),
founded in 1906, represents
American credit reporting agencies, mortgage reporting
companies, collection services companies, check services
companies, tenant screening companies and employment
dealings with federal and state legislators and the media.
A detailed discussion of the shape of national and international
financial data protection regimes features in the Privacy
& Data Protection guide
elsewhere on this site.
In Australia the major regulator is the federal Privacy
Commissioner, discussed in the complementary Privacy
& Data Protection guide.
The federal Privacy Act provides specific safeguards
for individuals in relation to consumer credit reporting,
in particular the handling of credit reports by credit
reporting agencies and credit providers. Those safeguards
are examined in the preceding page of this profile.
The Act seeks to ensure that use of the data is restricted
to assessing applications for credit and other legitimate
activities relating to personal finance. It does not directly
affect commercial credit information.
The Commissioner issues a legally binding Code of Conduct
for credit reporting, along with determinations that deal
with such matters as identification of credit providers
and the particulars permitted to be included in a credit
A range of state/territory government agencies administer
or oversight credit reporting and lending legislation
that is specific to their particular jurisdiction. One
example is the Victorian Credit Reporting Act 1978.
There is a similar spread of interests in consumer advocacy
Major Australian bodies include the Australian Consumers
the NSW Consumer Credit Legal Centre (CCLC)
and the Finance Services Consumer Policy Centre (FSCPC).
Overseas the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
and US Public Interest Reference Group (PIRG)
have taken a particular interest in performance by Equifax
and other rating bodies.