Design of a positive credit register in Finland
The Commission is supporting the Finnish Tax Administration (FTA) in designing a positive credit register, a unique tool providing financial institutions and public authorities with real-time, comprehensive information on households’ income and credit situation. The establishment of the credit register will support the Finnish Government’s efforts to reduce the level of household indebtedness in the country.
Private sector indebtedness in Finland reached around 180% of GDP in 2014, and it has hovered around this level since then. Household debt accumulation has also gradually increased over this period up to 66% of GDP. These developments have brought the private sector indebtedness above the 133% of GDP since 2009. In this context, the establishment of a credit register will help the authorities to better monitor the trends and identify policy actions to limit the risk of over indebtedness. Finland began preparing the credit register in 2017, and it is planned to have it operational by early 2024.
Support includes the analysis of comparative experiences in four EU Member States with regard to the establishment of similar credit registers and the development of bespoke recommendations on the legal and operational aspects of the Finnish credit register. With the assistance of a private sector consultant, the FTA could learn from the experience of other Member States having recently implemented a credit register with similar features and objectives. This comparative analysis will serve as the basis to design the Finnish credit register and tackle the legal and operational challenges related to its operationalization.
In the medium to long term, technical support will lead to the establishment of a well-functioning credit register in Finland, enabling the distribution of consolidated credit and income information to authorities and financial institutions. In the long term, the credit register would allow Finland to monitor, in real-time, the levels of indebtedness, predict defaults, prevent over-indebtedness, encourage financial responsibility and, ultimately, increase financial sector's stability. Additionally, running the credit register alongside the income register will provide data for tax risk management, tax audits, and statistics.