April 29 2016.

A new credit data sharing scheme went live on 1 April 2016 with the aim of make it easier for new challenger banks and alternative finance providers to check credit worthiness of potential business customers.

Under the scheme, the government is requiring nine banks and three Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) to share, with the SME’s permission, the credit information they hold on SMEs equally with all finance providers. This, the government hopes, will increase competition in the SME lending market and help more businesses find the funding they need to grow.

The government expects data sharing to begin later this year when tests between banks and CRAs confirm that data can be shared accurately and securely.

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