Promoting economic growth by facilitating access to business information

Current Activity

BIPA members and BBB discuss designation process under the terms of the SBEE 2015

September 2015

Following a meeting between BIPA and the British Business Bank (BBB) BIPA members have been engaging individually with the BBB who are acting on behalf of HM Treasury to discuss the process for official "designation" under the terms of the SBEE 2015.

Once this process is completed “Designated” CRAs will become the route for the disclosure to Alternative Finance Providers of Small Business Credit Information currently held by banks. This should significantly improve access to finance for smaller companies.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

BIPA discusses with HMRC the detail of VAT Register Information provision to CRAs

August 2015

BIPA met with HMRC to discuss the detail of how VAT Register Information will be made available to CRAs following the passing into law of the SBEE Act 2015.

BIPA is engaging closely on behalf of the industry to make sure that once data is made available all of the necessary guidelines are strictly enforced and that the full benefits envisaged can be realised. These meetings are continuing to discuss the detail of the data usage agreement and it is anticipated that this information will be made available in the New Year.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

BIPA has responded to the BIS Consultation - The Register of People with Significant Control (PSC) Regulations 2015

July 2015

BIPA has responded to the BIS Consultation "The Register of People with Significant Control (PSC) Regulations 2015" published by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BiS) following the passing into law of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

You can read this response here.

While BIPA understands the need to keep the burden on companies to a minimum by keeping the obligations as simple as possible there should be no compromise in setting up and operating this important new register which will help improve corporate transparency and help improve business decision making. Following the delivery of this response BIPA has continued to meet with BiS and Companies House to help ensure that the register is made available in a clear and effective manner.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

BIPA Members and Federation of Small Business (FSB) work to improve communication between the CRAs and small businesses

June 2015

BIPA Members met with the Federation of Small Business (FSB) to discuss ways to improve communication between the CRAs and the small business community.

The aim of this is to create greater awareness of the data held by CRAs on small businesses; how this data is used; how credit scores are created and how the use of this data within credit reports can help benefit small businesses through enhancing business decisions, the granting of trade credit and promoting responsible lending. BIPA also wants to help FSB members with any concerns with regard to their credit reports and explained how best to contact CRAs. BIPA will continue to engage with the FSB and hopes to be represented at a number of FSB events around the UK over the forthcoming year.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

BIPA represented at a European Commission workshop held in Brussels

BIPA represented at a European Commission workshop held in Brussels

May 2015

BIPA was represented at a European Commission workshop held in Brussels by the Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

The workshop brought together Central Banks, Business Credit Information suppliers and their associations and representatives of small business to discuss how Credit Information on SMEs could be improved across the EU. BIPA had replied to a public consultation on the proposed Capital Markets Union earlier in the month and this response can be viewed here. At the workshop members contributed to a lively day of discussion as to the best models going forward. BIPA strongly believes that the initiatives being pioneered in the UK on sharing more Government Information via CRAs along with SME Credit Information currently held by banks can prove a valuable model for resolving current data asymmetries between SMEs and larger corporate organisations.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill receives Royal Assent

March 2015

The Government has today confirmed that the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill has completed its passage through Parliament and has now received Royal Assent.

The Bill included several elements that will help widen the availability and transparency of data including non-financial VAT registration data, the establishment of a register showing the “Persons of Significant Control” behind companies, certain export data as well allowing the wider sharing of small business credit data via designated credit reference agencies. This data will be used to help assess a Company’s creditworthiness, aid compliance with regulatory requirements and to help combat fraud.

BIPA believes the availability of this data will in time generate significant benefits to the UK economy. Research carried out by HMRC in conjunction with BIPA indicates that the release of the VAT information alone could potentially make up to £1.8 billion more in trade credit available within the economy providing a welcome boost to British business.

BIPA welcomes the passage of the Bill into law and will continue to work with the Government and the wider business community to ensure its successful implementation.

If you have any specific questions for BIPA concerning this or wish to comment further please contact BIPA

Business Innovation and Skills have published a discussion paper on "Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Policies".

February 2015

BIPA has responded and welcomes the proposal to increase transparency and availability of information on corporate payment practices and performance.

BIPA welcomes initiatives that support the open data agenda and facilitates the availability of business information in the public domain. Greater coverage and depth of information of businesses enables British businesses to make more informed decisions which reduce risk and support economic growth. BIPA’s response can be accessed here.

BIPA meet with representatives from the Bank of England to continue discussions on the feedback received on their discussion paper "Should the availability of UK credit data be improved?"

January 2015

BIPA is supportive of widening the availability of SME credit information, a main brief of the Bank of England discussion paper.

BIPA members are working with the Bank of England on the use of granular commercial data to support Bank’s policymaking aims and a pilot study on improving trade creditor access to credit data. BIPA’s response can be accessed here.

BIPA has provided to the Ministry of Justice the Association's general comments on the proposed changes to the EU Data Protection Regulation.

January 2015

BIPA would ask the Ministry of Justice to consider the economic benefits of data transparency when formulating plans for new EU Data Protection Regulation.

BIPA believes that its members’ positive contribution to the economy will always be enhanced by the promotion of wider access to relevant information which enables company credit reports and scoring to be completed with greater levels of assurance resulting in more access to all forms of credit. Within the current draft of the General data protection, which was adopted by the European parliament at its first reading on 12th March 2014, several requirements for the lawful processing of personal information will be tightened in a way which will impede the business model of UK CRAs and their ability to provide accurate credit decisions and consequently could cause an unintended negative effect on economic growth. BIPA’s response can be accessed here.