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Identity &
identity crime

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& fraud

section heading icon     advocacy and regulation

This page considers Australian, New Zealand and overseas credit reporting industry advocacy and regulatory bodies.

It covers -

The 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 in 1961.

Its site notes that as investigators its members are -

called 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.

Acting as collectors IMA members are -

called 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.

In the US the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), founded in 1906, represents

500 American credit reporting agencies, mortgage reporting companies, collection services companies, check services companies, tenant screening companies and employment reporting companies

in 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 (PDF) 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 information file.

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.

     consumer advocacy

There is a similar spread of interests in consumer advocacy and research.

Major Australian bodies include the Australian Consumers Association (CA), 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.

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