Lack of info-transfers leads to credit problems for Brit expats

Credit Report

A lack of data exchanging facilities between the Gulf States and the United Kingdom could lead to British expatriates encountering credit difficulties if they return to the UK.

Arabian Business recently looked into the problem and found that without sufficient data exchange programs in place, credit suppliers may need extra convincing to give expat returnees credit in the face of non-existent foreign records.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director at the global consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, said: “There is no exchange of information at the moment between the domains and I am not aware of any discussion either, if an individual has not been around for a while then it is certainly going to hinder that individual’s ability to get credit.”

He added that: “The system (in the UK) looks at a credit history as being key to the granting of future credit. So if you are an expat who has been away for a while then you could have an issue trying to re-establish your credit rating in the UK.”

To counteract this, experts, Munroe included, recommend keeping extensive records of their financial history abroad, complete with a letter from your foreign banking establishment verifying your good credit.

James Jones, of the UK credit agency Experian, said: “Credit report data is not currently shared across borders, so UK-based lenders cannot access credit data stored elsewhere. Generally, the only way for a credit history to follow a consumer moving from one country to another is if the consumer takes a copy of their own credit report with them.”