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30 Aug 2018

TSB failing to update credit reports: has your credit score been hit?

Customer credit files are missing months of information

TSB has failed to provide a monthly update to credit reference agencies on its current account, loan, credit card and mortgage customers in the wake of its IT meltdown earlier this year, it has emerged.

The breakdown in reporting coincides with the bank's botched IT migration in April, which sparked myriad problems, and some worried customers say the lack of information appears to have had an adverse effect on their credit score.

Here, we explain how to check if your credit profile has been hit and what to do if you find your credit rating has plummeted.

Are you a TSB customer and has your credit score taken a hit? Contact us at money-letters@which.co.uk.

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TSB's credit reporting breakdown

TSB has admitted it has experienced a delay in updating credit reference agencies Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit),and many customers have pinpointed the information blackout started in April.

Typically, banks update credit reference agencies with information about how their current account, credit card, loan and mortgage customers are handling their accounts every month.

This, along with information reported from other firms, helps provide an overall picture of how you handle your finances to lenders and other interested parties that look at your report when making decisions such as whether you qualify for a new credit card or mortgage.

We asked TSB if the delay in reporting was because April's IT issues prevented the bank from doing so, or if it had made an active decision to stop reporting to avoid any errors hitting customer files.

A spokesperson said the bank didn't intentionally avoid reporting information and stressed there had just been a 'delay'.

What's the impact on credit scores?

You are unlikely to have seen a change to your credit score if your financial status with TSB was in good shape before the bank stopped providing updates to the credit reference agencies in April.

So, if you weren't using an overdraft or had gone over an agreed credit limit, the missing information for May, June and July shouldn't be a problem as nothing adverse or inaccurate has been reported to trigger a change in your score.

However, if you were using your overdraft, had gone over an agreed a credit limit, were using a big percentage of your credit limit or missed a payment in March - but have made moves to improve this since - frustratingly your credit report will not have been updated to reflect this.

Your credit score may be stuck at the same level rather than improving or could be dragged down further.

How to check your credit report and score for free

It's important your current financial situation is reflected accurately on your credit report, especially if you plan to apply for something that requires a credit check, such as applying for a mortgage or renting a property.

If you're a TSB customer, you should check your credit report to see whether the bank has been updating your profile with the right information, paying close attention to the information submitted since April when its IT issues started.

In the UK, three credit reference agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) - collect information to form your credit report and score, so it's important to check your status with all three.

You can check your credit report and score for free using Noddle (which uses TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) data), Clearscore (powered by Equifax) and the Experian Credit Score service.

What to do if your credit score has been hit

If your credit score has taken a hit over the last few months because of missing information from TSB, you can take action to get this rectified.

Get in touch with the credit reference agency that holds the inaccurate information to get it updated, or for a notice of correction to be added to your file.

A spokesperson for TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) said: 'We are aware of this issue and have been working closely with TSB in order to minimise any impact.

'We remain committed to ensuring that data relating to consumers is kept accurate and up to date, and are taking all possible steps to support TSB in rectifying this.'

Experian said: 'It's important that people's credit reports reflect the facts, which is why we work closely with banks and lenders to help make sure their customers' reports are updated regularly and accurately.

'If an issue is identified with a client's regular updates, we would provide expert support to help them resolve it as soon as possible. We encourage anyone concerned about the information on their credit report to contact us so we can help.'

Bear in mind, however, that a drop in your score may not be completely down to TSB's delayed updates. You should check your credit report for other things that might be dragging down your rating, such as not being registered on the electoral roll.

When will the TSB credit reporting issue be fixed?

TSB says it expects to provide the September update (containing August data) to all three credit reference agencies as normal.

A TSB spokesperson told Which?: 'We're sorry that our customers have seen a delay in their credit files being updated. We're working really closely with the credit reference agencies and making very good progress, so expect to see everything back to normal soon.

'In the meantime, we have been taking action to make sure customers are not adversely affected and if any customer has experienced an issue... we'd encourage them to get in touch with us so we can help put things right.'

TSB IT crisis: what happened?

TSB experienced IT issues in April earlier this year after migrating five million customers and their 1.3 billion records from an old Lloyds Banking Group platform to a new system.

Up to 1.9 million customers were unable to access their accounts online or through the mobile banking app from 22 April.

Customers were still facing issues months after the initial failure and the bank's half-year results revealed it suffered a £176.4m hit because of the IT migration and it had made a net loss of 6,000 current account customers between April and June.

It looks like the worst of TSB's troubles are over and the website reports many of the ongoing issues have now been resolved, but the bank is not completely out of the woods.

It recently experienced delays in sending out 40,000 new debit cards for those with cards expiring at the end of August, while TSB's planned switch from issuing Visa debit cards to Mastercard debit cards this year has been postponed to 2019.

Are you a TSB customer and has your credit score taken a hit? Contact us at money-letters@which.co.uk.