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News - Media Releases 2016

21/04/2016

Central Credit Register

The House of Representatives amended the Central Bank of Malta Act (Cap. 204 of the Laws of Malta) on 29 January 2016 to empower the Central Bank of Malta to establish a Central Credit Register (Register) in Malta, and to issue directives in this regard for licensed institutions to provide information on borrowers and to regulate access to the Register. The amendments to the Act came into force on 15 February 2016. Central Bank of Malta Directive no. 14, establishing the Register, was issued by the Bank on the same day. 

The purpose of the Register is to create a credit data sharing system to support credit institutions in their analysis of their existing or prospective borrowers' creditworthiness. Furthermore, the Register will support the Bank in carrying out its tasks related to financial stability. The establishment of a Register in Malta should also contribute to improve Malta's ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index.

While the sharing of information through the Register shall not be deemed to be in breach of banking secrecy and confidentiality obligations under any other law, all participating institutions are required to ensure that all the information accessible from the Register is protected against misuse and remains secret as if it were information on their own clients.

Credit institutions may access the Register when approached by prospective new customers for the extension of credit; on any exposures of persons who are proposed to act as guarantors in relation to an exposure; and to connected parties, provided that these customers provide their consent. Credit institutions may also access the Register in respect of their current customers. Customers, or their lawful representatives, can request an extract of the information kept on them in the Register by making a request in writing and subsequently calling at the Bank by appointment, presenting appropriate identification or the relevant certificates of incorporation in case of a legal person. The lawful representative should also present his/her identity card and proof, to the satisfaction of the Bank, of a power of attorney or other certification confirming that the person is authorised to act as the borrower's representative.

The Bank has taken the necessary measures to ensure a secure system to safeguard the collection, processing and dissemination of information available in the Register.

Data held in the Register shall be available for a fixed number of years as stipulated by CBM Directive no.14.  Upon the expiry of this retention period, all identifiers containing personal data will be deleted and information will be anonymised in compliance with the Data Protection Act (Cap. 440 of the Laws of Malta). 

The Register started operating on 20 April 2016 on the basis of information pertaining to March 2016.

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