The UK Financial Conduct Authority has come under fire for new proposals that would require consumer credit companies to hand over data on their customers.
According to The Sunday Times, the proposals could see up to 40,000 businesses hand over customers’ personal data such as postcodes, income and expenditure, and the size and nature of their loans every quarter.
The aim of the potential measures is to help the FCA better police the consumer credit sector and remove the need for ad hoc data requests.
Jason Wassel, chief executive of the Consumer Credit Trade Association, told The Sunday Times that the industry is “highly concerned” by the FCA’s proposals.
“The level of detail proposed is astonishing, including income and expenditure figures for borrowers,” he said, adding that the trade body was concerned about this data being shared with other government agencies.
The CCTA estimates there are around 120mn credit agreements in the UK, covering 40mn people. As a result, it said there is the potential for “billions of data points” being handed to the financial watchdog.
The trade association also expressed concern that the new measures would place a burden on small and mid-sized companies.
In response, an FCA spokesperson explained to The Sunday Times that the regulator already held large amounts of data on individuals through the mortgage market.
The spokesperson said that having data was “vitally important” as it allows the FCA to spot trends and identify potential issues within firms or the wider market.