It doesn't take a communications specialist of my calibre to realise that in the business information industry one sure way for business information providers to lose their good names is to be seen to be cahoots with the dastardly “banks" as opposed to being independent purveyors of first class, legally obtained, commercial industry, company and retail credit data. (See this report on bad debt colleciotn practices)
Of course, such providers get a good deal of revenue from large financial services institutions by, in the main, providing worthwhile products and services that help grease the wheels of credit and commerce markets worldwide. Which is why this article is so disturbing. When the US Justice department starts to take an interest in possible collusion between these two parties it’s time for BIIA members to make sure that they watch their ps and qs. If the LIBOR, FX, and mortgage scandals are anything to go by, the next step is for states attorneys general to stick their oars in and all bets are off on the damage that might unfold to reputations and to balance sheets.
This article doesn’t mention the UK in terms of these dodgy practices but if you run a credit reference agency get your head of risk in and start asking them some pointed questions starting with the words: “You remember how the authorities reacted to PPI mis-selling…”.
If you don’t like what you hear, your next call is to your internal comms professional and external agencies to start planning damage control! Oh joy of joys...