David McCarthy discusses various issues people are having with their banks

QUESTION:   I have a direct debit for a Life Policy going through my bank account.  I was approached by an official in the bank who asked me would I take out alternative cover with them.  I was quite taken aback at the approach and I am wondering is this something that they are allowed to do?  ANSWER:  No, a bank is not permitted to use the information for direct debits going to an account as a sales opportunity.  This also infringes Data Protection Regulation.  I would suggest that this listener makes a complaint to the bank with regard to this incident.

QUESTION:  I recently required with the Irish Credit Bureau with regards to my credit rating.  I was shocked to discover that one of the lenders that I have a loan with have given me a poor credit score, even though I had a good repayment record with them.  What can I do about this?  ANSWER:  It is important that you get onto the bank who have posted incorrect information on your loan with the Irish Credit Bureau.  The Bureau itself cannot make changes as they are only a recording center for information on your loans.  It is quite serious if the credit score is particularly poor and that incorrect data about you is held on their system.  I also recommend that you make it very clear to the bank that this error needs to be corrected immediately and that you subsequently obtain an up to date report from the Irish Credit Bureau to make sure the amendment has been carried out.  For anyone considering enquiring about their credit status, the Irish Credit Bureau website is ICB.ie

QUESTION:  Can Social Welfare access details on my child’s bank account, in relation to a Social Welfare application?  ANSWER:  As far as I am aware Social Welfare can access details of your bank account if you have made an application and provided them with details of bank accounts.  There is a declaration on most applications which makes it clear to you that they may pursue an enquiry in relation to these accounts, however, this is not an area that I am particularly familiar with and would recommend that you revert to the Department of Social Welfare.

For Independent Financial Advice call McCarthy & Associates Financial Consultants Ltd on 091 566022.