As of today, all major creditors engaged in commercial lending activities have agreed to share details of borrowing by both limited and non-limited businesses, as well as how well they are meeting their credit obligations.
Phil Cotter, managing director of Experian Credit Services, UK and Ireland, says: “This is a significant step forward for commercial lending in the UK. Lenders are now able to access a greater range of data to inform their commercial lending decisions.
Lenders can obtain a far more comprehensive view of businesses and how they are performing on their credit commitments, enabling them to set terms and offer services that are fairer to the applicant and their credit needs.”
Experian expects SMEs to benefit from the launch of Commercial CAIS as lenders will have access to deeper information on their debt and repayment profile than before. “While only CAIS members will be able to view the credit commitments of these businesses, their existence will be highlighted in other databases. This benefits businesses that are not CAIS members and also opens up services to newly found non-limited businesses,” adds Cotter.
Commercial CAIS will include information on the length of credit agreements, their start date, outstanding balance and payment history. A strict code of conduct governs the data sharing, overseen by a steering committee on reciprocity. Only members of the scheme can submit and share data, subject to the permission of the business concerned. Around 150 members, predominanlty banks, building societies, telcos, utilities an asset finance providers are members of the scheme.