Newsletter of the Credit Bureau Association - Edition No. 1
Meet the new agile Credit Bureau Association
Let me start this note by saying, “Welcome, and thanks”. You are receiving this newsletter – our first! – as a valued stakeholder of the Credit Bureau Association (CBA). It has been a busy year, and we wanted to take the time to let you in on what we’ve been up to.
Shortly after I joined the CBA as the new executive manager in June 2014, we moved offices to our new low-key, cost-effective space in The Oval Office Park, Bryanston. The smaller space is more than adequate for our needs, and also allowed us to reduce some of our running costs and overheads. This is just one of the steps we have taken towards ensuring we remain a cost-effective and efficient industry body. With efficiency in mind, we also reorganised the way in which our member workstreams were structured to try make the best use of members’ time.
This has led to the consolidation of some streams, as well as to more efficient use of video and teleconferencing facilities. At the start of the year, we also bid farewell to our long-serving chairman Ramesh Pillay, and welcomed Geoff Miller as the new CBA chairman.
Below you will find some of the highlights of the work we have been involved in. We know you’re busy, so we’ve kept it concise. If you would like more information on any of these initiatives, please get in touch.
2015: a year of robust, constructive industry participation
It may go without saying, but between the credit information amnesty and the publication of the amendments to the Credit Act, it has been an eventful 18 months in the credit space! We at the CBA have had plenty of excellent opportunities to participate in constructive discussion with our partners in credit and related fields, and we’ve jumped at the chance to take up as many of them as possible.
On behalf of our members, the CBA engaged with the DTI and NCR on the Amendment act matters. We made our submissions and sought legal opinion on issues that have the potential to change the way in which the entire industry operates. To ensure we comply with these changes, we are busy reviewing our policy directives. We engaged with Department of Justice around the proposed changes to the Maintenance Act and the possible use of credit bureaus to trace maintenance defaulters. We made submissions to the NCR on the listing of medical info, and met with the NCR on debt review matters.
We were also delighted to be asked to participate as a category judge in Debt Free Digi’s 2015 Debt Review Awards, an initiative endorsed by the NCR and all major players in that sector of the industry. We were invited to present at the first DTI credit conference on the impact of amnesty in September last year and again at the second conference at Birchwood on the new amendments in March this year.
On an on-going basis, the CBA participates in a number of industry forums to ensure that we are able to represent members at all levels. We sit on the NCR CIF forum, and serve on the Credit Ombud council, where we were involved in the appointment of the new ombud. We are continuously engaging with the South African Credit and Risk Reporting Association (SACRRA, previously the Credit Providers Association) regarding how the industry deals with data. Finally, we continue to develop for Project Evolution compliance, and we expect to have all major data suppliers on board by June 2016.
CBA members and other industry players can look forward to the appointment of the PoPI regulator in 2016. The CBA has drafted a proposed PoPIA code in anticipation of the appointment.
As you are no doubt aware, we also welcomed a new Credit Ombud in 2015, Nicky Lala-Mohan. Welcome, Nicky!
Face-to-face with credit consumers
Consumer education, outreach and empowerment were some of our “mini missions” in 2014-2015; We wanted to address credit myths, help people empower themselves through knowledge, and understand what concerns real credit consumers had.
We saw public events as an excellent way to do this. As a collective of the consumer information-holding bureaus, we took a stand at the 2014 Soweto Festival, issuing free credit reports to consumers. In 2015, we joined forces with SACCRA and the Credit Ombud on an event at Unisa campus in Pretoria in August. And we jumped at an invite from the National Credit Regulator to attend their Spring Day to provide NCR staff with access to their personal credit reports. In October, we also partnered with the NCR and the Ombud on a mall activation at Greenstone, where over 730 consumers were able to view their free reports and a lot of positive engagement, education and conversation happened.
Through our public relations and consumer outreach work, the CBA has been featured in print, online and broadcast media, helping us reach an even wider national audience, with touchpoints and takeaways aimed at different audiences and segments of South African society. For a taste of some of the media outlets we’ve appeared in, see “Featured in” (above right).
Even though the year is winding down, we aren't. We're working with the Department of Justice on adding maintenance judgements onto the bureau data in compliance with the new Maintenance Act Amendment Act, and with the Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal to see how we can enrich bureau data with this information. With the new year in sight, the CBA is hard at work preparing our 2016 strategies, budgets, and reviewing the organisation's constitution and code of conduct. The latter we look forward to sharing with our members – along with any new codes and policy directives – at the CBA AGM early next year.
Keep an eye on your inbox for more details, or contact us directly via the new, redesigned CBA website.
Credit Bureau Association · St Georges Building, The Oval Office Park, · 1 Meadowbrook Lane (Corner of Sloane Street), Bryanston, · Johannesburg, Gauteng 2192 · South Africa