Equifax sees rise in consumer queries about electoral registration

New regulations contribute to decrease of over 1.5 million electoral registrations in 2 years

In 2014 the process for electoral roll registration changed so that instead of one member of the household being able to register every adult at their address, each individual must register themselves.  Despite the Government’s best efforts to raise awareness of the new individual electoral registration (IER), Equifax, the leading credit information provider, is reporting a rise in the number of consumers contacting the company as they discover that they are no longer registered to vote.

Being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register.  But it can affect so much more – from signing up for a mobile phone to buying a house.   This is because electoral registration information shows on an individual’s credit report and is used by lenders to verify an applicant’s address.

Figures collated by Equifax show an overall, like-for-like decrease in elector volumes for 2016 of more than 600,000; there was a decrease of over 950,000 for 2015.  Combined with the increase in consumer enquiries to Equifax about electoral registration, this suggests that many people don’t realise that they are no longer registered to vote.

“Many companies use the electoral roll information on an individual’s credit file for identity verification purposes”, explained Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax.   “If an individual is registered to vote, it will appear on their credit report and can be indicative of a ‘good’ risk. We are, therefore, reminding consumers to check that they are on the electoral register at their current address, especially if they are planning to apply for credit in the near future, whether it’s a mobile phone contract or something bigger, such as a mortgage or loan.

“It’s easy to register online or by contacting your local authority.  As well as being an important factor when planning to apply for new credit, being registered to vote also means they can have a say in the upcoming EU referendum.”

Residents of England, Wales and Scotland can check if they’re registered to vote by contacting their local Electoral Registration Officer - details can be found on Gov.uk.  Residents of Northern Ireland should visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.  Consumers can also check that they are registered at their current address on their Equifax Credit Report, as well as check other information that will be used by lenders when assessing credit applications.

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

ENDS

For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: equifaxbtocteam@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide.  The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index.  Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2015, Forbes named Equifax one of the World’s 100 Most Innovative companies; Bloomberg BusinessWeek nominated it as one of its Top 50 companies; its CIO was named one of the top 100 by CIO magazine; the company ranked 16th in the Fintech 100 list; and it was recognized as a top 20 company to work for by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was named a 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner.

For more information, please visit www.equifax.co.uk.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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