Call for greater transparency in the credit search market

Toby Van Der Meer, managing director of money at today appeared in front of the influential Treasury Select Committee, a group of cross party MPs who have begun an investigation into the credit search market and the impact multiple credit searches have on consumers.

Research from shows that 46 per cent of consumers don't know that making multiple credit applications may impact their credit score, while 55 per cent of consumers believe this practice to be unfair.

Toby Van Der Meer said: "Shopping around for financial products is common and growing, with 40 per cent of consumers saying they do so. However shopping around is becoming harder with acceptance rates being lower due to the recession, and fear of tarnishing credit scores increasing.

"Those consumers who understand the consequences of making multiple applications are fearful of shopping around and do not apply because of the uncertainty of the system. This means they are not necessarily getting the best deals, while those who don't understand this are damaging their credit files which prevents them from accessing the best deals - it is a no-win situation. This issue particularly hits low income groups hard with six out of 10 low income consumers not understanding how the system works.

"We have asked the Treasury Select Committee to press for change in this market. We need to see greater transparency and fairness in the consumer credit market, with providers using quotation searches rather than full credit searches on applications, so consumers can shop around freely for products without any impact on their credit files."