The Code of Conduct (CoC hereafter) has recently been approved by the Central Bank of Kenya(CBK) in accordance with the new CRB Regulations 2020 in order to empower CIS Kenya to implement minimum standards on credit information sharing.The CIS industry CoC will govern non-regulated credit providers to ensure robustness of the mechanism and address some of the challenges that have been identified including:
• Unnecessary data disparities in the CRBs
• Failure to submit consumers’ positive data
• Failure to update data regularly
• Slow response to customer queries and customer disputes
• Delays in correcting erroneous customer data
• Lack of physical offices or operational telephone contacts.
CIS Kenya is the apex body that bears the mandate to develop and expand the CIS framework in Kenya. Its mission is ‘’to facilitate the generation and use of accurate credit information for the benefit of all participants in the credit market’’.
The Code of Conduct has 3 key objectives:
• Data quality
• Consumer protection
The Code has enumerated the following 12 credit reporting principles:
▪ Lawfulness – customer information must be shared in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and international best practice
▪ Minimality –credit information must be adequate, timely, relevant, and not excessive in relation to intended purposes
▪ Consent and purpose specification –Members should obtain clear and specific consent from their customers to share their credit information, preferably in writing
▪ Data retention periods – Credit information shall be retained by the bureaus for the minimum period stipulated in Regulation
▪ Information quality – Consumer credit information must be accurate, complete and up-to-date. CRBs and Members are both responsible for the quality of consumer credit information.
▪ Notification to consumers – Members must issue customers with specific pre-listing, post-listing and adverse action notices as well as any other notice stipulated in the CRB Regulations
▪ Full file sharing – Members undertake to share full file information daily with all licensed CRBs and update credit information as soon as any change occurs and to correct any errors as soon as they are noticed
▪ Security and confidentiality – Information must be protected against accidental, unlawful destruction, unlawful intrusion, loss and wrongful alteration, unauthorized disclosure and access
▪ Access to credit information – Members will provide consumers with credit reports under all circumstances stipulated under the Regulations
▪ Data standardization –Members undertake to share data using the most current DST and through the industry Data Validation Tool in line with the CRB Regulations
▪ Customer complaints and dispute resolution- Members undertake tomaintain functional and efficient dispute resolution processes and to
educate customers on their rights including the right to refer unresolved disputes to Tatua Center, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Center
established by CIS Kenya.