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Debt data rethink after industry split

Plans for a data-sharing service to help lenders with the consumer debt crisis have been scaled back after failing to achieve industrywide support.

The Personal Credit Dashboard initiative was devised by Apacs, a trade body for payment services. It was initially designed to enable the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the British Bankers’ Association and the Finance and Leasing Association to share data on debt trends and pass this on to their members.

Plans are being finalised in behind-the-scenes talks but documents seen by Money Marketing and verified by Apacs show that the BBA and the FLA are unwilling to participate in full so the scheme will only share publicly available data.

Apacs says the Personal Credit Dashboard will provide an overview of debt statistics to allow mortgage, loan and credit card firms to tweak their underwriting systems to reflect changing debt characteristics.

Apacs spokeswoman Sandra Quinn says: “We were keen to use data not in the public domain but we are aware it is being scaled back now.”

Brokers say rising repossessions due to the growth in the specialist market, where borrowers are more likely to default, is partly due to increasing levels of unsecured debt.

Hamptons International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy says: “The availability of unsecured credit is undermining the secured side.”

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