The Reserve Bank of Fiji (“RBF”) recently granted approval to Credit Information Reporting Agency Limited (“CIRA”), a credit reporting agency, to operate in Fiji. A locally established company, CIRA is the first agency to be licensed under the Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016 (the “Act”) and its accompanying Fair Reporting of Credit Regulations 2016 (“Regulations”).
This comes after almost two years of the closure of Data Bureau Limited which had operated as a credit bureau in Fiji since 2004, albeit in an unregulated market.
The Act and Regulations seek to provide a framework for credit reporting which benefits both borrowers and lenders; and sets out the licensing requirements, rights, duties and obligations of credit reporting agencies. The Act and Regulations empower RBF to license and supervise such agencies and requires credit information providers and credit report recipients to register with RBF.
Agencies are not permitted to use any credit information gathered prior to the commencement of the Act, with penalties of a fine of up to $50,000 and/or a maximum of 5 years imprisonment. The minimum amount of credit information that can be reported as per the Regulations is $300, which must have been overdue for at least 60 days.
Fiji’s lending market has operated without a credit reporting agency for 22 months, up until April this year, and so it will be interesting to see how the reintroduction of a credit reporting agency will impact on the lending environment in Fiji for both borrowers and lenders.
For more information, please contact one of our team.
 Fair Reporting of Credit Act 2016 s 19(6).
 Fair Reporting of Credit Regulations 2016 s 6(1).