THE CREDIT REPORTING BILL, 2013 MEMORANDUM

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1 THE CREDIT REPORTING BILL, 2013 MEMORANDUM The objects of this Bill are to- (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) enable credit information sharing and reporting; provide for the regulation of the conduct of credit reporting and credit reporting services; make provisions for the establishment of a Credit Data Repository; provide safe guards for data protection for customers of credit providers; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing. MUMBA MALILA, S.C., Attorney-General

2 THE CREDIT REPORTING BILL, 2013 ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS Section PART I PRELIMINARY 1. Short title and commencement 2. Interpretation 3. Application PART II AUTHORITY OF THE BANK OF ZAMBIA 4. Supervisory and regulatory authority of the Bank of Zambia 5. Ownership of information 6. Delegation of authority 7. Register of credit reporting agencies 8. Establishment of central data repository PART III LICENSING OF CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES 9. Eligibility and prohibition on operating without licence 10. Restriction to carry on business other than credit reporting business 11. Application for a licence 12. Issuance of licence 13. Refusal to issue licence 14. Suspension or revocation of license 15. Validity of the licence 16. Terms and conditions of a license 17. License not transferable 18. Minimum paid-up capital 19. Licensee to notify Bank of Zambia if circumstances change 20. Sale, lease or transfer of credit reporting agency 21. Handling of credit information when licence of credit reporting agency is revoked, 22. Notification of refusal to issue, reinstate, revoke or amend conditions of licence 2

3 PART IV GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES Ownership and Control 23. Limitation on voting control 24. Regulation and divestment of other control 25. Ownership 26. Prohibition of ownership of shares by obscure legal arrangements Board of Directors and Senior Management 27. Composition and responsibilities of Board 28. Appointment of board members and senior management 29. Qualifications of board member and senior management PART V REGULATION OF CREDIT REPORTING 30. Authorised activities of a credit reporting agency 31. Collection of credit information 32. Disclosure of credit information Data Management and Quality Control 33. Storage and security of credit information 34. Retention period 35. Accuracy of credit information 36. Obligation of subscribers, Credit Reports 37. Credit reports 38. To whom credit reports may be provided 39. Prohibited content of credit report 40. Fees Provision of Credit Data by Credit Providers 41. Scope of data to be provided 42. Accuracy of data provided 3

4 Inspections 43. Inspection by Bank of Zambia 44. Restrictions on access to records 45. Supervisory actions Supervisory Actions PART VI CONSUMER RIGHTS AND PROTECTION 46. Consumer relations office 47. The right to information and data 48. Notice of denial of benefit or increase of cost of benefit 49. No condition precedent to disclosure 50. The right to challenge incorrect information 51. Record of challenges 52. Suspension to access 53. Bank of Zambia s order on inaccurate or incomplete information PART VII COMPLAINTS AND INVESTIGATION 54. Complaint 55. Investigation by Bank of Zambia 56. Restriction on investigation initiated by complaint 57. Continuation of investigation notwithstanding withdrawal of complaint 58. Enforcement notice 59. Variation or cancellation of enforcement notice PART VIII APPEALS 60. Reasons for decisions and right to be heard 61. Right of appeal 62. Appointment and convening of Tribunal 63. Powers of Tribunal 64. Decisions of Tribunal 4

5 PART X GENERAL 65. Unlawful collecting, of credit information 66. Transfer of credit information to places outside Zambia 67. Waiver of benefits ineffective; inclusion of certain clauses forbidden 68. Offences and penalties 69. Abetment and attempt punishable as offences 70. Offences by body corporate 71. Immunity 72. Power of Minister to make regulations 73. Power of the Bank of Zambia to prescribe 74. Guidelines 75. Carrying on credit reporting business before the commencement of this Act 76. Exemption 5

6 A BILL ENTITLED An Act to enable credit information sharing and reporting; to provide for the regulation of the conduct of credit reporting and credit reporting services; to provide for the establishment of a Credit Data Repository; to provide safe guards for data protection for customers of credit providers; and to provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing. Enactment ENACTED by the Parliament of Zambia. PART I PRELIMINARY Short title and commencement Act No. of This Act may be cited as the Credit Reporting Act, 2013 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by Gazette notice, prescribe Interpretation 2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires- Access log means a record of every access made to credit information held by a credit reporting agency; Act means the Credit Reporting Act; "Account" means any account between a credit provider and a person that involves the provision of credit, and includes any new account created 6

7 as the result of any scheme of arrangement involving one or more previous accounts; "Account data" means the account data referred to in Schedule 1. For account involving the provision of credit to another person for whom a person acts as guarantor, the account data of such account is, in addition to being account data relating to that other person as the borrower, deemed to be also account data relating to the person to such extent as represents the contingent liability of the person as guarantor; "Account general data" means the account general data referred to in Schedule 1; "Account repayment data" means the account repayment data referred to in Schedule 1; "Adverse action notice" means a notice issued by a credit provider to a consumer conveying denial or cancellation of, an increase in the cost of or other adverse or unfavourable change in the terms of the benefit as a result of information contained in a credit report; Appointed date means the relevant date or dates, as the case may be, on which this Act comes into operation; 7

8 Bank of Zambia means the Bank of Zambia of Zambia established under the Bank of Zambia of Zambia Act; Chief executive officer, in relation to a credit reporting agency, means the principal executive officer of the credit reporting agency for the time being, by whatever name called, and whether or not he is a director; Company has the meaning assigned to it in section 4 of the Companies Act 1965 [Act 125]; Constituent documents, in relation to a body, corporate or unincorporate, means the statute, charter, memorandum of association, articles of association, rules, by-laws, partnership agreement, or other instrument, under or by which the body is incorporated or established, and its governing and administrative structure and the scope of its functions, business, powers and duties as set out, whether contained in one or more documents; Consumer means any person who is applying for credit from, or who has been granted credit by, a credit provider and who is the subject of the credit information; 8

9 Correction, in relation to credit information, means and includes, without limitation, amendment, variation, modification or deletion; Court means the High court of Zambia; Credit means (a) any loan, overdraft facility or other kind of credit provided by a credit provider to and for the use of a person, or to and for the use of another person for whom a person acts as guarantor. (b) Financing under a lease or hire-purchase terms, provided that any amounts overdue under such lease or hire purchase agreement shall, for purposes of this Act, be deemed to be amounts in default under the lease or hire purchase contract; (c) any advance, loan, trade credit or other facility in whatever form or by whatever name called whereby the person to whom the advance, loan, trade credit or other facility is given has access, directly or indirectly, to the funds or property of the person giving it; (d) the giving of a guarantee or any security in relation to the obligations of any person; (e) any hire-purchase, leasing, factoring, debt trading and such similar dealings or transactions; or 9

10 (e) any other like dealing or transaction as may be prescribed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Bank of Zambia; Central Data Repository means a computerized mechanism created by the Bank of Zambia to receive and supply credit information to financial service providers and other institutions authorized by the Bank of Zambia, regarding the credit transaction of consumer, including off balance sheet operations; Credit information means the history of an individual or entity with regard to credit and financial obligations that a credit reporting agency may collect from a credit provider; Credit information processor, in relation to credit information, means any person, other than an employee of the credit reporting agency, who processes the credit information solely on behalf of the credit reporting agency, and does not process the credit information for any of his own purposes; Credit provider means any person that carries on a business involving the provision of credit and includes:- (a) a financial service provider within the meaning of the BFSA, Cap 387 of the Laws of Zambia; 10

11 (b) (c) (d) (e) a subsidiary of a financial service provider; a money lender licensed under the Money Lenders Act, Cap 398 of the Laws of Zambia; and a person whose business (whether or not the person carries on any other business) is that of providing finance for the acquisition of goods by way of leasing or hire-purchase. A person who provides a good or service on credit. Credit report means any record or information, whether in a written, oral or other form, that (a) has any bearing on a consumer s (i) eligibility to be provided with credit; (ii) history in relation to credit; or (iii) capacity to repay credit; and (b) is used, has been used or is capable of being used as one of the factors in establishing a consumer s eligibility for credit; Credit Reporting Agency means any data user who carries on a business of providing a consumer credit reference business: (a) for gain or profit (b) on a regular, co-operative and non profit basis 11

12 Credit reporting business means a business that involves the processing of credit information for the purpose of providing a credit report to another person, whether for profit, reward or otherwise, but shall not include the processing of credit information (a) for the purpose of discharging regulatory functions or that is required or authorized by or under any law; or (b) by a credit rating agency; Data system means any system, whether automated or otherwise, which is used, whether in whole or in part, by a credit reporting agency for the processing of credit information, and includes any document and equipment forming part of the system. Financial Service Provider means a Bank of Zambia, financial institution or financial business as defined in the Banking and Financial Services Act. Minister means the Minister responsible for finance; Officer, in relation to a credit reporting agency, includes the chief executive and any employee; Person includes an individual, a company, a partnership, an association and any group of persons acting in concert, whether or not incorporated; 12

13 Personal information means information about a consumer s character, reputation, health, physical or personal characteristics and mode of living, but does not include credit information; Processing, in relation to credit information, means collecting, recording, holding or storing the credit information or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the credit information, including (a) the organization, adaptation or alteration of credit information; (b) the retrieval, consultation or use of credit information; (c) the disclosure of credit information by transmission, transfer, dissemination or otherwise making available; or (d) the alignment, combination, correction, erasure or destruction of credit information; Record means a book, paper, document or thing, whether in electronic form or otherwise, that may contain information in respect to the finances or business of a credit reporting agency. Register means the Register of Credit Reporting Agencies established and maintained under section 7; 13

14 Relevant credit reporting agency, in relation to (a) an inspection, means the credit reporting agency who uses the data system which is the subject of the inspection; (b) a complaint, means the credit reporting agency specified in the complaint; (c) an investigation (i) in the case of an investigation initiated by a complaint, means the credit reporting agency specified in the complaint; (ii) in any other case, means the credit reporting agency who is the subject of the investigation; (d) an enforcement notice, means the credit reporting agency on whom the enforcement notice is served; Relevant person, in relation to a consumer, howsoever described, means (a) in the case of a consumer who is incapable of managing his own affairs, a person who is appointed by a court to manage those affairs, or a person authorized in writing by the consumer to act on behalf of the consumer; or (b) in any other case, a person authorized in writing by the consumer to make an access request, correction request, or both such requests, on behalf of the consumer; 14

15 Requestor, in relation to an access request or correction request, means the consumer or the relevant person on behalf of the consumer, who has made the request; Significant shareholding, means any direct or indirect shareholding or beneficial interest in excess of five per cent of the share capital of a financial service provider; Specified, where no mode is mentioned, means specified from time to time in writing; Subscriber means any person who has entered into a subscriber agreement with a credit reporting agency; Subscriber agreement means a written agreement providing a subscriber with access to credit information held by a credit reporting agency and is as specified in the Fourth Schedule; Use, in relation to credit information, does not include the act of collecting or disclosing such credit information; Unfavourable credit action means a denial or revocation of credit, an unfavourable change in the terms of an existing credit arrangement, or a 15

16 refusal to grant credit in substantially the amount or on substantially the terms as requested. Application 3. (1) This Act applies to credit reporting agencies licensed under this Act, consumers and credit providers. Provided that the requirements of this Act are not binding on the Bank of Zambia, except in so far as this Act expressly imposes a duty on the Bank of Zambia. PART II AUTHORITY OF THE BANK OF ZAMBIA Supervisory and regulatory authority of the Bank of Zambia 4. The Bank of Zambia shall for the purposes of this Act be the supervisory and regulatory authority to:- (a) license, regulate and supervise credit reporting agencies, data providers and credit information recipients and their agents; (b) maintain proper standards of conduct and acceptable credit reporting practices; (c) take measures to protect the interests of credit information subjects; (d) protect the integrity of the credit reporting system against abuses; (e) impose penalties for contravention of this Act; and 16

17 (f) undertake other activities necessary or expedient to give full effect to the provisions of this Act. Ownership of information 5. The information held by the credit reporting agency remains the property of the Bank of Zambia and where an agency winds up the information shall revert to the Bank of Zambia. Delegation of Authority 6. (1) The Bank of Zambia, may subject to such conditions as it may consider necessary, delegate to any person the performance of any of the powers conferred upon the Bank of Zambia, in this Act, including the management of the Central Data Repository on such conditions as the Bank of Zambia may determine. (2) The exercise of any of the Bank of Zambia s authority or the carrying out of any of the Bank of Zambia s responsibilities by a person to whom they are delegated is deemed to be the exercise or the carrying out by the Bank of Zambia. Register of Credit Reporting Agencies 7. (1) The Bank of Zambia shall establish and maintain a Register of Credit Reporting Agencies. (2) The Register shall contain the names and addresses of all credit reporting agencies which have been licenced under subsection 14(2) and any other particulars regarding such credit reporting agencies as may be determined by the Bank of Zambia. (3) Subject to subsection (4), the Bank of Zambia shall make the Register available for inspection by the 17

18 public, subject to such conditions as the Bank of Zambia may consider fit. (4) A person may on payment of the prescribed fee (a) inspect the Register; or (b) make a copy of or take extracts from an entry in the Register. (c) shall not use the information for commercial purposes or other reason unless through a court order. Establishment of central data repository 8. The Bank of Zambia may establish a Central Data Repository. A financial service provider and any credit provider shall be required to supply or furnish the Bank of Zambia with all the documents and information that is necessary to effectively maintain and manage the repository. PART III LICENSING OF CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES Eligibility and prohibition on operating without license 9. (1) A person shall not establish or operate a credit reporting agency or carry out or conduct credit reporting services in Zambia unless such person is- (a) incorporated as a limited company under the Companies Act solely to carry out credit reporting activities; and (b) licenced under this Act. (2) A person who contravenes the provision of subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to- 18

19 (a) in the case of a body corporate or other body of persons to a fine of not less than one hundred and fifty thousand penalty units, and (b) in the case of an individual to a fine of not less than one hundred thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than two years or to both. (3) In the case of a continuing offence, the offender shall, in addition to the penalties under subsection (2), be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction. Restriction to carry on business other than credit reporting business 10. (1) A credit reporting agency shall not carry on any business other than that of a credit reporting business, unless it has obtained the prior written approval of the Bank of Zambia. (2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. Application for a licence 11. (1) An application for a licence to conduct credit reporting agency business shall be made to the Bank of Zambia in such form and accompanied by such fees as may be determined by the Bank of Zambia. (2) The application shall be accompanied by the following information and supporting documents- 19

20 (a) certified copies of the applicant s certificate of incorporation and articles of association; (b) names and the permanent residential addresses of the directors, key management personnel concerned with the management of the business, significant shareholders or beneficial owners including their educational and professional background; (c) the physical and postal addresses of its head office and the addresses of each branch proposed to be opened by the applicant; (d) feasibility study and business plan showing organizational structure, internal monitoring procedures, mission statement and goals, market analysis, ownership structure, governance structure, management structure, description of projected investments, projected financial statements for a minimum of three years, analysis of profitability and business continuity plan (e) the source and amount of its capital and documents that support the value of applicant s capital base as well as sources of funds; (f) an overview of operations including a description of systems, design of data collection and dissemination, management 20

21 (g) (h) processes, development schedule of the software required for operation, characteristics of products and services to be provided to users, policy on service provision, proposed security and control measures to prevent improper access to credit information, operational manuals designed to ensure that credit information provided is accurate and updated, the proposed fee and cost structure of products; proof of payment of non-refundable licence application fee; and such other information or documents as may be determined by the Bank of Zambia for the purposes of determining the application and suitability of the applicant. (3) At any time after receiving an application and before determining it, the Bank of Zambia may by written notice require the applicant to provide to the Bank of Zambia such additional information or documents or direct the applicant to comply with such other requirements as the Bank of Zambia may require within the time as specified by the Bank of Zambia. (4) if the requirement under subsection (3) is not complied with, the application for a licence shall be deemed to have been withdrawn by the applicant and shall not be 21

22 further proceeded with by the Bank of Zambia, but without prejudice to a fresh application being made by the applicant. (5) An applicant may withdraw an application by written notice to the Bank of Zambia at any time before approval is granted or refused. Issuance of licence 12. The Bank of Zambia shall, within one hundred and eighty days after issuing a letter to the applicant confirming that the application has been accepted, grant or refuse to grant the licence and communicate the reasons for its refusal to the applicant. Refusal to issue licence 13. (1) Subject to section 22, on receipt of an application pursuant to section 11, the Bank of Zambia may refuse to issue a licence if the Bank of Zambia has reasonable grounds to believe that: (a) based on the past conduct of the applicant, or any officers, directors or representatives of the applicant, the applicant will not carry on business with honesty and integrity and in accordance with this Act, the regulations or any term or condition of the licence; (b) the applicant has made a false or misleading statement, with respect to any matter that the Bank of Zambia considers material, in an application pursuant to section 11 or in any of the information or material submitted to the Bank of Zambia 22

23 in support of an application; (c) (d) the applicant directly or indirectly holds more than five percent share(s) or controlling interest in a debt collection agency or a financial service provider; or it is not in the public interest to issue the licence. (2) An appeal shall lie under Part VIII against a decision of the Bank of Zambia to refuse to issue a licence. Suspension or revocation of licence 14. (1) Subject to section 22, the Bank of Zambia may suspend or revoke a licence if it is satisfied that:- (a) the credit reporting agency has failed to comply with any of the terms and conditions of the licence; (b) the credit reporting agency has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this Act; (c) the issuance of the licence was induced by a false representation of fact by the credit reporting agency; (d) the credit reporting agency is in the course of being wound up or otherwise dissolved; (e) a receiver, manager or receiver and manager or an equivalent person has been appointed in respect of any property of the credit reporting agency; 23

24 (f) (g) (h) the credit reporting agency has ceased to carry on the credit reporting business for a continuous period of three months; the credit reporting agency carries on the credit reporting business in addition to other businesses without the prior written approval of the Bank of Zambia; or the credit reporting agency surrenders its licence to the Bank of Zambia. (2) An appeal shall lie under Part VIII against a decision of the Bank of Zambia to suspend or revoke a licence. (3) When a licence is revoked, the licensee shall, within fourteen days from the date of service of the notice of revocation of licence, surrender the licence to the Bank of Zambia, and the Bank of Zambia shall, as soon as practicable, publish notice of the revocation in the Government Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation in Zambia, and may take any additional steps which, are necessary to inform the public of the revocation. (4) If the Bank of Zambia considers it appropriate to do so, the Bank of Zambia may reinstate a licence that has been suspended. Validity of the licence 15. A licence issued under this Act shall remain valid unless revoked. Terms and conditions of a licence 24

25 16. (1) On issuing or reinstating a licence, the Bank of Zambia may include any terms and conditions that the Bank of Zambia considers appropriate. (2) Subject to section 22, at any time after a licence is issued or reinstated, the Bank of Zambia may amend the terms and conditions of the licence. Licence not transferable 17. A licence issued or reinstated pursuant to this Part is not transferable. Minimum paidup capital 18. (1) The Bank of Zambia shall, by Gazette Notice prescribe the minimum amount of paid-up capital for credit reporting agencies. (2) Subject to subsection (4), every credit reporting agency shall maintain the minimum amount of paid-up capital as prescribed in subsection (1), and if such minimum amount is at any time increased, the credit reporting agency shall maintain the increased amount within such period as may be stated in the order that prescribed the increased amount, but such period shall not be less than three months. (3) Subject to subsection (4), no person shall be issued a licence under section 12 and no credit reporting agency shall carry on a credit reporting business if its paidup capital unimpaired by losses or otherwise is less than the minimum amount prescribed in subsection (1). 25

26 (4) Where the minimum paid-up capital of a credit reporting agency is less than the minimum amount prescribed at any time under subsection (1), the credit reporting agency may, with the written consent of the Bank of Zambia and subject to such terms and conditions as the Bank of Zambia may impose, carry on the credit reporting business. (5) A credit reporting agency which contravenes this section commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. Licensee to notify Bank of Zambia if circumstances change 19. (1) Within 30 days after a prescribed change in circumstances, an applicant or licensee shall notify the Bank of Zambia in writing. (2) Subject to section 22, after receiving information that there has been a change in circumstances in accordance with subsection (1), the Bank of Zambia may: (a) (b) (c) refuse to issue a licence; suspend or revoke a licence; or amend the terms and conditions of a licence. (3) Subject to section 22, if an applicant or licensee fails to comply with Subsection (1), the Bank of Zambia may: (a) refuse to issue a licence; 26

27 (b) (c) suspend or revoke a licence; or amend the terms and conditions of a licence. Sale lease or transfer of credit reporting agency 20. No person who is or has been licensed as a credit reporting agency shall sell, lease or transfer title or any of its files except to a credit reporting agency licensed pursuant to this or Act Provided that a credit reporting agency shall request the prior written approval of the Bank of Zambia for any arrangement or agreement by which the credit reporting agency or database of consumer information is to change control, be sold, or otherwise be merged with another entity. Handling of credit information when licence of credit reporting agency is revoked, etc. 21. (1) Any credit reporting agency which- (a) has ceased to be a credit reporting agency; or (b) has its licence revoked by the Bank of Zambia pursuant to section 14, shall, within the period as determined by the Bank of Zambia, hand over all the credit information in its databases or within its possession, in whatever form available, and the databases, including back-up files, to the Bank of Zambia. (2) Upon receipt of the credit information and databases from the credit reporting agency under subsection (1), referred to as the first credit reporting agency, the Bank of Zambia may decide either 27

28 (a) (b) (c) to destroy the credit information and databases; to keep the information in a Central Data Repository; or to hand over the credit information and databases to another credit reporting agency, referred to as the subsequent credit reporting agency, upon payment of compensation by the subsequent credit reporting agency to the first credit reporting agency of an amount to be agreed between the first credit reporting agency and the subsequent credit reporting agency. (3) In handing over the credit information and databases of the first credit reporting agency in pursuance of subsection (2)(c), the Bank of Zambia shall be satisfied that the subsequent credit reporting agency to which the credit information and databases is proposed to be handed over to has at least similar or equivalent financial abilities, expertise and facilities to that of the first credit reporting agency to assume the processing of the credit information. (4) The subsequent credit reporting agency shall, upon receipt of the credit information and databases under sub-section (2)(c) (a) inform the consumer by written notice of the fact that his credit information has 28

29 (b) been handed over to the subsequent credit reporting agency; and have the same duties and obligations in relation to that consumer as if it was the first credit reporting agency and shall comply with all the provisions of this Act. (5) Where the first credit reporting agency hands over any credit information and databases to a subsequent credit reporting agency in pursuance of subsection (2)(c), any consent obtained by the first credit reporting agency from a consumer under subsection 32(1)(a) shall lapse, and the subsequent credit reporting agency shall obtain the consent of the consumer under subsection 32(1)(a) if it intends to disclose the credit information of the consumer under that section. (6) A credit reporting agency which contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. Notification of refusal to issue, reinstate, revoke or amend conditions of licence 22. (1) The Bank of Zambia shall not do any or all of the following without providing written notice to the applicant or licensee and giving the applicant or licensee an opportunity to make written representations: (a) (b) refuse to issue or reinstate a licence; suspend or revoke a licence; 29

30 (c) amend the terms and conditions of a licence. (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), if the Bank of Zambia considers that it is necessary and in the public interest to take immediate action, the Bank of Zambia may immediately suspend or revoke a licence without providing written notice to the licensee and giving the licensee an opportunity to make written representations, but the Bank of Zambia shall give the licensee an opportunity to make written representations within 15 days after the date on which the Bank of Zambia suspends or revokes a licence. (3) On receiving an applicant s or licensee s written representations pursuant to this section, the Bank of Zambia shall, within 30 days: (a) consider the submissions and make a decision; (b) notify the applicant or licensee, in writing, of the Bank of Zambia s decision; (c) provide written reasons for the Bank of Zambia s decision; and (d) provide the applicant or licensee with information in respect to the right of appeal pursuant to Part VIII. 30

31 PART IV GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES Ownership and Control Limitation on voting control 23. (1) Shares issued by a credit reporting agency shall be only of such classes or series as may be approved by the Bank of Zambia. (2) A person shall not, without the prior approval in writing of the Bank of Zambia- (a) acquire any beneficial interest in the voting shares of a credit reporting agency; or (b) enter into any voting trust or other agreement, that would enable the person to control more than fifty per centum of the total votes that could be cast on any general resolution at a general or special meeting of the credit reporting agency. Provided that this subsection shall not apply to a company which has more than fifty percent of its shares publicly listed on a securities exchange in a jurisdiction within or outside the Republic of Zambia acceptable to the Bank of Zambia. (3) A credit reporting agency shall not register any transfer of its voting control or right to any person if, as a result of the transfer, the person would contravene the provisions restricting the voting limits under this section without the prior approval of the Bank of Zambia. 31

32 (4) Where a person (in this subsection referred to as the "shareholder" acquires an interest in or control over voting shares in contravention of subsection (2), that person shall not, in person or by proxy, exercise the voting rights of any voting share owned or controlled by that person other than such shares as are registered in the name of that person on the share register of the credit reporting agency. (5) Where, on the date this section comes into force, a person owns or controls or is deemed, by the operation of any provision of this Act, to own or control shares in contravention of subsection (2), the person may retain any such shares or control, but may not sell or otherwise dispose of the same except in such a manner that no transferee from or successor to the person will thereby contravene that subsection. (6) Any person acting in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both. Regulation and divestment of other control 24. (1) Any person who, by virtue of subsection (5) of section 23 has, immediately before the date of coming into force of this Act, the type of control of a credit reporting agency that would otherwise be prohibited under subsection (2) of that section shall dispose of the beneficial interest in the voting shares or terminate or modify the voting trust or 32

33 other arrangements so as to reduce the person s control to the extent permissible under subsection (2) of that section. (2) A person who is required by sub-section (1) to dispose of any beneficial interest in voting shares or terminate or modify the voting trust or other arrangements shall do so within a period specified by the Bank of Zambia; (3) The Bank of Zambia may, in any particular case, order a person to whom sub-section (1) applies to submit to the Bank a plan of action regarding the reduction of control and may give directions for the implementation of the plan. Ownership 25. (1) A person who has de jure or de facto control of a credit reporting agency shall not own any share in the capital of, or acquire or maintain control of, any other credit reporting agency without the prior written approval of the Bank ; (2) A person shall not hold shares as a nominee in a credit reporting agency; (3) A person acting in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both. Prohibition of ownership of shares by obscure legal arrangements 26. (1) A legal arrangement shall not own shares in a credit reporting agency unless the ultimate beneficial 33

34 owners and persons who control it are identifiable and are fit and proper in accordance with section 29 of the Act. (2) In this section, a legal arrangement means an arrangement and/or agreement in which a person controls property and/or money for another person. Board of Directors and Senior Management Composition and responsibilities of Board 27. (1) The board of directors of a credit reporting agency shall consist of not less than five members the majority of whom shall be non-executive. (2) A board member shall not serve as a board member in more than one credit reporting agency. (3) The board of directors shall elect a nonexecutive chairperson from amongst their members. (4) Board members of a credit reporting agency shall- (a) have overall understanding of a credit reporting agency operations and information technology systems; (b) provide effective oversight of credit reporting agency affairs; (c) ensure regulatory compliance; (d) review and approve policies and procedures; (e) ensure a credit reporting agency maintains at all times effective system for internal control; (f) ensure that the credit reporting agency maintains a customer claims and inquiry 34

35 (g) service section to attend to customers who may be affected by the information contained in the database and who allege that the information is illegal, inaccurate, erroneous or outdated; and ensure that the credit reporting agency has adequate staff to undertake the functions of the Agency and to sufficiently meet customers demands. Appointment of board members and senior management 28. (1) A credit reporting agency shall not appoint any person to a post of senior management or member of a board of directors without obtaining prior written approval from the Bank of Zambia. (2) Where a member of senior management or board of directors of any credit reporting agency ceases to hold the post of senior management or board of directors, the credit reporting agency shall, within ten working days notify the Bank of Zambia of the cessation and reasons thereof. Qualifications of board member and senior management 29. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Companies Act or any other written law, a person shall not be qualified to be elected a director or to be appointed a chief executive officer, chief financial officer or manager of a licensee if that person- (a) is not a fit and proper person in accordance with the fit and proper criteria prescribed by the Bank to hold the 35

36 (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) relevant office in relation to integrity and professional expertise; is not above the age of twenty-one years; has been convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty; has been declared or otherwise adjudged in any official proceedings to be mentally incompetent to manage one's own affairs; is under suspension or has been removed from office under this Act; has been a director or member, chief executive officer, chief financial officer or manager of a company which has been adjudged insolvent, entered into a composition with creditors, gone into liquidation, declared bankrupt or has entered into any other arrangement with creditors or taken any other action with similar effect in Zambia or elsewhere in the immediate preceding ten years unless that person shows that the person was not responsible for the insolvency, liquidation, composition with creditors, bankruptcy, other arrangement with creditors or other action with similar effect in Zambia or elsewhere; or (g) has been removed from office of trust on account of misconduct, abuse of office, corruption or breach of that trust in the immediate preceding ten years. 36

37 (h) In the case of an expatriate, the Bank of Zambia may prescribe additional and specific requirements, in addition to the requirements in (a) to (h) above, for their appointment. (2) Where a person, who is a director or chief executive officer of a credit reporting agency, at any time does not satisfy the criteria as set out in sub-section (1), that person shall immediately cease to hold the office and act in such capacity, and the credit reporting agency concerned shall immediately terminate his appointment in such capacity. (3) A credit reporting agency which contravenes subsections (1) or (2) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand penalty units. (4) In the case of a continuing offence, the offender shall, in addition to the penalty under subsection (3), be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand penalty units for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction. 37

38 PART V SUPERVISION AND REGULATION OF CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES Conduct of Business of Credit Reporting Agencies Authorised activities of a credit reporting agency 30. (1) A credit reporting agency licensed under this Act may engage in the following activities (a) Obtain and receive customer information; (b) Store, manage, evaluate update and disseminate the customer information to subscribers in accordance with this Act; (c) Compile and maintain database and generate reports from customer information database; (d) Opine as to the creditworthiness of a customer; (e) Sell to institutions specialised literature and other informational material related to its activities; (f) Carry out market and statistical research relating to matter set out under this Act; and (g) Carry out any other activity as may be approved by the Bank from time to time in accordance with this Act. (2) The credit information maintained by the credit reporting agency shall not be transferred outside Zambia except in such cases as the Bank of Zambia may determine. 38

39 Collection of credit information 31. (1) No credit reporting agency shall collect any credit information about a consumer unless (a) the credit information is collected for a specific and lawful purpose directly related to an activity of the credit reporting agency and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose; (b) the collection of the credit information is necessary for or directly related to that purpose; and (c) the credit information is adequate but not excessive in relation to that purpose. (2) A credit reporting agency which contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. (3) The collection and use of credit information by a credit reporting agency under subsection (1) shall not require the consent of the consumer concerned. Disclosure of credit information 32. (1) No credit reporting agency shall disclose any credit information for any purpose or to any person unless 39

40 (a) the consumer has given his or her consent to the disclosure either in writing or evidenced in writing; (b) the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or investigations by a law enforcement agency of Government; or (c) the disclosure is required or authorized by or under any law, or by the order of a court. (2) Subject to subsection (3), where a credit reporting agency has obtained the consent of the consumer under sub-section (1)(a), it shall not disclose the credit information- (a) for any other purpose other than the purpose for which; or (b) to any other person other than the person to whom, the consumer has consented under that sub-section. (3) Where a credit reporting agency intends to disclose the credit information- (a) for any other purpose other than the purpose for which the consumer has consented to under sub-section (1)(a); or (b) to any other person other than the person to whom the consumer has consented to under sub-section (1)(a), the credit reporting agency shall obtain the consent of the consumer under sub-section (1)(a) to disclose the credit 40

41 information for that other purpose or to that other person, as the case may be. (4) The consent mentioned in subsection (1)(a) may be obtained by any method that permits the person to produce evidence that the consumer consented, including prominently displaying the information respecting the consent in a clear and comprehensible manner in an application for credit, insurance, employment or tenancy. (5) A credit reporting agency which contravenes this section commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. Data Management and Quality Control Storage and security of credit information 33. (1) A credit reporting agency shall, when processing any credit information, take practical steps to protect the credit information from any loss, misuse, modification, unauthorized or accidental access or disclosure, alteration or destruction by having regard (a) to the nature of the credit information and the harm that would result from such loss, misuse, modification, unauthorized or accidental access or disclosure, alteration or destruction; (b) to the place or location where the credit information is stored; 41

42 (c) to any security measures incorporated into any equipment in which the credit information is stored; (d) to the measures taken for ensuring the reliability, integrity and competence of personnel having access to the credit information; and (e) to the measures taken for ensuring the secure transfer of the credit information. (2) Where processing of credit information is carried out by a credit information processor on behalf of the credit reporting agency, the credit reporting agency shall, for the purpose of protecting the credit information from any loss, misuse, modification, unauthorized or accidental access or disclosure, alteration or destruction, ensure that the credit information processor (a) provides sufficient guarantees in respect of the technical and organizational security measures governing the processing to be carried out; and (b) takes reasonable steps to ensure compliance with those measures. (3) Without limiting the generality of sub-sections (1) and (2), a credit reporting agency shall take the following measures to safeguard the credit information it holds against unauthorized access or misuse: (a) develop written policies and procedures to be followed by its credit information 42

43 processors, its employees, agents and contractors, or any other person providing services to it; (b) impose access authentication controls such as the use of passwords, credential tokens, digital signatures or other mechanisms; (c) provide information and training to its employees to ensure compliance with the policies, procedures and controls; (d) ensure that a subscriber agreement, in a form prescribed by the Bank, is in place before disclosing the credit information to a subscriber; (e) identify and investigate possible breaches of the subscriber agreement, policies, procedures and controls; (f) take prompt and effective action in respect of any breaches that are identified; (g) systematically review the effectiveness of the policies, procedures and controls and promptly remedy any deficiencies; and (h) maintain an access log. (4) A credit reporting agency shall ensure that if it is necessary for the credit information to be given to a person in connection with the provision of a service to the credit reporting agency, the credit reporting agency shall take all reasonable measures to prevent any loss, misuse, modification, unauthorized or accidental access or 43

44 disclosure, alteration or destruction of the credit information. (5) The access authentication controls required under sub-section (3)(b) shall include, in respect of an access made, a means of identifying both the subscriber and the specific person of the subscriber who have access to the credit information, or other person who has access to that credit information. (6) The access log required under sub-section (3)(h) (a) shall include a record of the time and date of access to the credit information, the identity of the subscriber or other person who has access to the credit information, and the purpose in relation to each access; and (b) shall identify or provide a means to identify the specific person of the subscriber who has accessed that credit information and the specific consumer whose credit information was so accessed. (7) A credit reporting agency shall ensure that the access log contains records of all accesses made for a period of not less than ten years preceding the date of the last access. (8) A credit reporting agency which contravenes this section commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand 44

45 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. Retention period 34. Every credit reporting agency shall retain credit information maintained in its database until expiry of ten years from the date of final loan repayment, bankruptcy, assignment or write-off.. Accuracy of credit information 35. (1) A credit reporting agency shall not use or further process any credit information without taking such steps as are in the circumstances reasonable to ensure that the credit information is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. (2) A credit reporting agency shall, when undertaking a comparison of credit information within its control with any other credit information for the purpose of producing or verifying information about an identifiable consumer, take such measures as are reasonably practicable to avoid the incorrect matching of the credit information. (3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a credit reporting agency shall (a) establish and maintain controls to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, only credit information that is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading is used or further processed; 45

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