David answers various questions on Galway Bay FM, 18th October 2012

Question:  I recently carried out a check with the Credit Bureau in connection with my credit rating.  To my horror I discovered that two of the loans I have from different banks show payments in arrears.  I have always been on time with each repayment I have made and I am wondering how this could have happened.  Can you please advise me?

Answer:  I would highly recommend, whether you have reason to check your credit rating or not, that everybody contacts the Credit Bureau online at icb.ie and submit an application to ensure that your records are correct.  The Credit Bureau is only effectively a database and they cannot change your records however if you discover an error with regard to the repayment record of any of loans then you should contact the bank and insist that they alter same immediately.

I would also recommend that this listener contact both banks immediately to get the records altered.  An incorrect credit report can have a major impact on your financial standing.

Question:  I saw in the papers recently that the Credit Review office has helped a number of businesses to obtain a loan from their bank when they had been refused previously.  I have a small business and I’m somewhat puzzled by this, as when I recently spoke to my bank about a loan facility they refused without even proceeding further to an application.  Should I contact the credit review office, do you think they can help me?

Answer:  For the Credit Review Office to consider a complaint from you it is necessary to complete a formal application to your bank.  If this is declined then you can ask them to take up the matter on your behalf. 

There has been a constant conflict between the figures released by the Credit Review Office and the research carried out by various small firms associations with regard to the level of lending that banks are providing to small businesses.  It is quite clear that most requests for credit do not get to the application stage and as a result the statistics from the Credit Review office, in my opinion, are not reliable. 

“The bottom line” is that there is very little finance being provided by the banks relative to the requirements of small businesses.

Topic:  New initiative next week by Solicitors to encourage people to draw up wills.

Comment:  A new initiative will be undertaken by 200 Solicitors in Ireland next week whereby they will provide a service for clients who wish to draw up a Will at a nominal fee of €50.  Solicitors participating in this scheme can be accessed through a website set up specifically for this purpose at www.mylegacy.ie

Recent figures that two thirds of people in Ireland do not have wills is quite a shocking statistic.

Question:  Last week you were talking about Payment Protection Insurance.  I have a credit card with MBNA and have insurance attached to it.  I also have a personal loan with AIB.  Can you tell me what is likely to happen in my case?

Answer:  You do not need to take any action, as the results of the Central Bank investigation will be published by each of the banks concerned and customers who have been determined as cases for misselling will be contacted.  I would expect that substantial refunds (as premiums on these policies were extraordinarily high) could be issued to a considerable number of customers.

Regarding your dealings with MBNA, they were not one of the institutions listed in this review however I believe that subsequently all providers of Payment Protection Insurance will be required by the Central bank to undertake a similar investigation.