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CML steps in to prevent ‘hard footprints’ on credit files

Brokers appear to have won their battle to ensure lenders do not leave hard footprints on customers’ files that could harm their credit rating.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders wants lenders to double-check whether consumers are shopping around or making an application and has told members to only register genuine applications.

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has described the move as good news.

It had highlighted the problem that hard footprints were being left on people’s files when they were only shopping around and not making an application. The AMI said their credit rating could worsen if too many hard searches were recorded on their credit file.

The CML guidance to members says: “Lenders need to ensure that application searches are only registered when there is a genuine application. This will necessitate an examination of the processes and systems in order to be confident that searches of the correct type are conducted at the correct point.

“The difficulty is that many consumers do not specify whether they want a quotation or are applying. Brokers and lenders need to include a question asking whether consumers are seeking a quotation or applying.”

AMI associate director Rob Griffiths says: “The fear that multiple footprints could harm someone’s credit rating is not an issue any more.”

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