What are the Credit Information System and the Central Credit Register? What is the difference between the two?
In Italy the Credit Information System (SIC) is a private database managed by the company "C.R.I.F." (Central Financial Intermediation Risks). In addition to the SIC, there are also other private databases managed by companies such as Cerved Group, Experian, CTC, Assilea.
The Central Credit Register is instead a public database managed by the Bank of Italy.
Both databases collect information on the credit profile of natural or legal person reported by banks or financial companies, which have granted them mortgages, loans or guarantees.
SIC collects all credit-related data, regardless of whether it has been repaid or not. These operate on a voluntary basis and are not subject to the supervision of the Bank of Italy.
The reports to the Central Credit Register, on the other hand, refer to all banks and financial companies and only concern those who must repay a sum equal to or over €30,000; this threshold is lowered to €250 if the customer is considered "insolvent" or "non-performing". Insolvency is assessed independently by each reporting bank or financial company and do not need to be previously declared by a judge.
What happens if you are reported to the SIC or the Central Credit Register?
A person is reported negatively in these databases by a Bank or Financial Intermediary when one or more installments of a mortgage or loan are not paid.
If a person is reported "negatively" in these databases, he will have more difficulty in obtaining a new credit, mortgage or loan.
What to do in the event of a report to the SIC or to the Central Credit Register?
Sometimes, you do not need to do anything as the report is automatically deleted after a certain period of time, even when your debt has already been paid. With regard to the SIC, the data retention times are indicated in the table below.
With regard to the Central Credit Register of the Bank of Italy, the data remain available for consultation by Banks and Financial Institutions for a maximum of 36 months.
However, when the report is illegitimate, you can ask the Bank or the Financial Intermediary who made the report to delete your name from the databases before the expiry of the aforementioned terms. In these cases it will also be possible to request compensation for documentable pecuniary and moral damage.
The request must be made via certified e-mail or by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to the complaints office of the reporting bank or financial company. In case of non-response or refusal by the Bank or Financial company, it is possible to contact the Banking and Financial Arbitrator, the judicial authority or the Data Protection Authority.
To report misconduct by a bank or a financial company, a complaint can also be submitted to the Bank of Italy via the online service at the site https://www.bancaditalia.it/servizi-cittadino/index.html
In which cases is a report to the Central Credit Register or SIC considered illegitimate?
1) When the reported subject has not received from the bank or financial company a notice of at least 15 days via certified e-mail or registered letter
2) When the bank or financial company has made an incorrect assessment of the financial and patrimonial insolvency situation of the reported subject, which must be serious and not transitory.
3) In cases of homonymy or material error of the report.
4) In cases of failure to cancel or rectify the report to which the bank or financial company was obliged by virtue of settlement agreements signed with the reported suject.
Avv. Lifang Dong and Avv. Chiara Civitelli
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