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The Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act of 2005 ("CIC Act") was passed with a view to regulating credit information companies and facilitating efficient distribution of credit for matters concerned or incidental to it.
Following the CIC Act of 2005, the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India have enacted the Credit Information Companies Regulations, 2006 ("Regulations") and the Credit Information Companies Rules, 2006 ("Rules") issued under the Act, respectively. The CIC Act of 2005, and the subsequent 2006 Regulations and Rules are together referred to as the CIC Laws.
The Credit Information Companies Act lays down the criteria and rules for membership of credit information companies. As per the CIC Act, only the following can become members of a credit information company:
Such institutions as specified shall become members of all credit information companies in operation in India and submit credit-related and other allied data (including historical data) to them.
The reason why a credit institution or any other authorized user becomes a member of all the credit information companies in India is to eliminate the possibility of a borrower/client having a current or a past credit footprint with non-member credit institutions. This ensures that all credit information companies have accurate and complete current and historical information.
A credit information company may request credit information from its members by issuing a notice. The credit information company can adopt an RBI-approved format for collecting the requested credit information from its member institutions. The company can also forward the agreed upon and approved format to its members. Upon the receipt of the notice and the format, the member Credit Institutions and credit information companies are required to furnish the requested information within the time frame specified in the notice.
The Credit information provided by every credit information company to its member can be used only for the following purposes:
Member credit institutions pay a one-time membership fee that is charged by the Credit Information Company. In addition, there is an annual fee that all member institutions need to pay as well.
On updating of Credit information:
The credit information companies and member credit institutions shall ensure that all the credit information with them is updated either on a monthly basis or shorter intervals as agreed upon mutually between the credit bureau and the member institutions in line with the Regulation laid down in the Credit Information Companies Regulations Act.
Should any dispute arise between a credit information company and its member, relating to any matter related to credit information, such disputes shall be settled by arbitration or negotiation as provided in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996). This applies for those dispute resolutions, for which no remedy has been provided under the CIC Act.
Where ever a dispute has been referred to negotiation as stated above, the same shall be settled or decided by:
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