Gulf expats returning to the UK may encounter credit issues

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CREDIT RATING: Evidence of a clean credit history is a key prerequisite for obtaining a loan or credit card in the UK. (Getty Images)

CREDIT RATING: Evidence of a clean credit history is a key prerequisite for obtaining a loan or credit card in the UK. (Getty Images)

With no exchange of data between Gulf and UK credit ratings agencies, British expats returning to the UK may find it difficult to obtain credit if they cannot provide proof of a clean credit history while abroad, Arabian Business has learnt.

“There is no exchange of information at the moment between the domains and I am not aware of any discussion either,” said Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax, a global consumer credit reporting agency.

Evidence of a clean credit history is a key prerequisite for obtaining a loan or credit card in the UK. Therefore, Munroe said he believes that “if that individual has not been around for a while then it is certainly going to hinder that individual’s ability to get credit.”

“The system [in the UK] looks at a credit history as being key to the granting of future credit. So if you are an expat who has been away for a while then you could have an issue trying to reestablish your credit rating in the UK,” he added.

This sentiment was also echoed by James Jones, consumer education manager at UK-based credit ratings agency Experian Ltd.

“Credit report data is not currently shared across borders, so UK-based lenders cannot access credit data stored elsewhere. Generally, the only way for a credit history to follow a consumer moving from one country to another is if the consumer takes a copy of their own credit report with them,” said Jones.

Therefore, any expats planning to return to the UK should obtain a letter from their bank stating that they have maintained a good credit history while in the Gulf and are returning to the UK with all their debts repaid, advised Munroe.

“The best alternative is to bring proof with you that you have good credit rating elsewhere and hopefully you can persuade a lender to take that into account,” he added.

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Posted by: Cash Flow Messiah

Another scare tactic to try and get UAE expats from UK to 'make sure they pay their bills before they skip'. Give me a middle-eastern break! (it's just more relaxing, that's all)

Posted by: john carter

Complete Nonsense This article and its comments are completely incorrect in practically every point raised. The UK?s credit reference agencies, which are Experian, Equifax and Call Credit, run shamble out of date and totally unreliable information on both companies and / or individuals. The facts on these agencies are that none of the main UK or any other financial institutions in the UK has to report any information to any these agencies, its 100% purely voluntary to what, if any information is passed on, there is currently no UK law stating that any information has / or must be used in any form. Yes the information, if sent, is regulated by the UKs Data Protection Act and its variable updates over the past 36 years, but the information sent is at best 4 weeks old, or more common 3 months out of date, its not a ?live system. As a result completely unreliable as anyone could apply for any number of credit cards, loans accounts in or over a month period and no one would know. With regards to the Business end of Experian, again a joke?. these guys gave Leman Brothers, Northern Rock and Lloyds TSB?. A1 Credit Rating?s?as we all know all went either bust, or were technically insolvent, yet there credit reports showed a perfect credit rating / score. For your reader?s information, any UAE unsecured debt cannot be enforced in the UK even with a UAE Court Judgement it holds no value in the UK. Although the UAE banks will try to convince you otherwise, take no notice.

Posted by: mike Charlie mike

Quote: ?Credit report data is not currently SHARED across borders, so UK-based lenders cannot access credit data stored elsewhere." Shared: 1. A part or portion belonging to, distributed to, contributed by, or owed by a person or group. 2. An equitable portion: do one's share of the work. I agree then the data is not shared between markets. But that doesn't mean it is not available. It is... even if it is not formally consolidated in a central database. What Mr. Jones should have stated is that UK lenders are unwilling to pay for it. Neither were the UAE banks if I recall...

Posted by: Sanda Bob

The above opinions are so stupid, because you can get proof from the bank where you have your salary transfer and have credit cards and loans / mortgages from other banks... So how would know those snobs in UK that the bank which issued the "No liability letter" in UAE is the only one with which you deal... How can people talk without being aware of the reality of the financial market in UAE... here there is not centralized data to check you with all the banks...

Posted by: Ahmad

This article is not at all clear.. Paul, how about this... Clear debt in one card, take a no due certificate from that particular bank, leave all other cards unpaid and escape....

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