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  • FIRST POST
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 15th Oct 16, 4:37 PM
    • 67Posts
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    darkh0rse
    Marks & Spencer created a financial association on a non-joint application
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 16, 4:37 PM
    Marks & Spencer created a financial association on a non-joint application 15th Oct 16 at 4:37 PM
    Hi

    My girlfriend applied for an M&S Money Credit card in 2014. She got rejected.

    Two years on I have discovered M&S linked us financially from this application.

    M&S replied:
    "When a customer applies for a product such as a credit card with ourselves, we ask if they wish to include their partner’s details in the application. This can assist us in our decision making process. This is not a joint application but does create an association on both of their credit files."

    I am furious. How can they do this? How can an application which isn't joint create a permanent association?

    Is this one for the ombudsman?

    Thanks
Page 2
    • Transformers
    • By Transformers 16th Oct 16, 3:27 PM
    • 372 Posts
    • 1,224 Thanks
    Transformers
    It is reasonable for the financial institution to create an association between an applicant and the person named by the applicant as an additional card holder on the account.

    After all, if approved, the additional card holder would be spending money that the primary cardholder would be liable for.

    If that's not a legitimate financial link then I don't know what is.

    So - your GF entered your details in the application - why, if there was no intention to include you as a cardholder?

    The blame for the association rests with your GF (in asking for credit and naming you as one of the recipients of a card for her account) and not with the financial institution.
    • ukamber1
    • By ukamber1 16th Oct 16, 5:28 PM
    • 105 Posts
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    ukamber1
    It is reasonable for the financial institution to create an association between an applicant and the person named by the applicant as an additional card holder on the account.

    After all, if approved, the additional card holder would be spending money that the primary cardholder would be liable for.

    If that's not a legitimate financial link then I don't know what is.

    So - your GF entered your details in the application - why, if there was no intention to include you as a cardholder?

    The blame for the association rests with your GF (in asking for credit and naming you as one of the recipients of a card for her account) and not with the financial institution.
    Originally posted by Transformers

    I agree....I've just removed a financial association from an egg credit card opened nearly 10 years ago. I wasnt the named account holder but was added as a secondary cardholder. Even tho it wasnt a joint account, I still held a card for the account so a financial link was setup. Account was closed over 7 years ago so easy to do a financial disassociation and get the link removed.
    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 16th Oct 16, 5:48 PM
    • 29,527 Posts
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    YorkshireBoy
    So - your GF entered your details in the application - why, if there was no intention to include you as a cardholder?
    Originally posted by Transformers
    There would only be one reason for doing this, and that's to increase the chances of a) acceptance, and b) a half decent credit limit.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 16th Oct 16, 6:20 PM
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    GingerBob
    It is reasonable for the financial institution to create an association between an applicant and the person named by the applicant as an additional card holder on the account.

    After all, if approved, the additional card holder would be spending money that the primary cardholder would be liable for.

    If that's not a legitimate financial link then I don't know what is.

    So - your GF entered your details in the application - why, if there was no intention to include you as a cardholder?

    The blame for the association rests with your GF (in asking for credit and naming you as one of the recipients of a card for her account) and not with the financial institution.
    Originally posted by Transformers

    Absolutely no it isn't, but it seems M&S are in agreement with you. They need reporting to the ICO about this. A named second card holder is not a financial associate.


    I recently took out a secondary card for my daughter. She is a financial dependent of mine, but she is not financially associated; we have no joint accounts.


    These card companies and utility providers are chancing their arm with this one and they need to be brought to book.
    • starM
    • By starM 16th Oct 16, 9:07 PM
    • 1,299 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    starM
    I agree with GingerBob.

    From my understanding financial association should only be created if both are liable for the debt. On credit card only main applicant is liable for the debt if defaulted.

    If both of you have good credit rating then I don't think you will have issue obtaining credit.

    My and my other half are financially associated due to joint mortgage and I have available card limit 80% of my annual income. My other half also has large amount of available credit but her Barclaycard application went through without any problems with decent credit limit.

    Barclaycard did do unrecorded search on my credit report but that may be to look if I have any adverse data.
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 1st Feb 17, 11:14 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    darkh0rse
    Just an FYI update, I opened cases with the ICO and Ombudsman so we'll see what they both come back with.
    • dieselv2
    • By dieselv2 1st Feb 17, 12:20 PM
    • 157 Posts
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    dieselv2
    When we check your details with a credit reference agency, a search/enquiry is registered to say that you've applied for credit today. As part of our checks, we link your name with individuals associated with you financially, and any previous names you've provided.
    She agreed to those T&C's when applying and added you on the application. I don't see anything wrong with what M&S have done.

    Just apply to un-link yourselves...this was covered in Martin's show this week.

    To add to this further...

    For an application which may involve borrowing, your credit
    reference agency records may be cross checked with others
    who are financially linked to you because of other joint financial
    commitments. This is known as a financial association and this
    process enables lenders to form an accurate view of the existing
    financial commitments of customers.

    Where a joint personal application is made a new financial
    association will be created and registered with the credit reference
    agency, if this does not already exist.
    M&S say they would only search your account if you have another financial link on your report. Is there?
    Start of 2017 Debt: £15,889 | 31st Jan 2017 Debt: £13,400 | 16% Repaid
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 1st Feb 17, 12:36 PM
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    GingerBob
    She agreed to those T&C's when applying and added you on the application. I don't see anything wrong with what M&S have done.

    Just apply to un-link yourselves...this was covered in Martin's show this week.

    To add to this further...



    M&S say they would only search your account if you have another financial link on your report. Is there?
    Originally posted by dieselv2

    No she didn't. She only 'agreed' that they could create a link with someone who is a financial associate, if not already linked. Being named as a secondary cardholder, or just being identified as someone's husband, does not constitute a financial link. M&S (HSBC) are taking the urine! This practice needs stopping, and only complaints to the ICO will stand any chance of sorting out this problem.
    • camelot1971
    • By camelot1971 1st Feb 17, 6:24 PM
    • 481 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    camelot1971
    How did M&S know your details to link you if your details weren't on the application form?
    • dieselv2
    • By dieselv2 1st Feb 17, 10:17 PM
    • 157 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    dieselv2
    No she didn't. She only 'agreed' that they could create a link with someone who is a financial associate, if not already linked.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    Is there already a financial link from an application for other credit? If there is would this be valid ground for them to search both?
    Start of 2017 Debt: £15,889 | 31st Jan 2017 Debt: £13,400 | 16% Repaid
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 2nd Feb 17, 9:27 AM
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    GingerBob
    Is there already a financial link from an application for other credit? If there is would this be valid ground for them to search both?
    Originally posted by dieselv2

    Yes, if there was a link, but they have no authority to create a link. That doesn't stop them, of course, and apparently M&S go ahead and create a link anyway. One might expect the CRA data validation procedures would stop this .... oh heck! I just remembered - CRAs don't implement meaningful data validation.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 3rd Feb 17, 10:43 AM
    • 917 Posts
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    phillw
    From my understanding financial association should only be created if both are liable for the debt. On credit card only main applicant is liable for the debt if defaulted.
    Originally posted by starM
    It's to protect them from you applying for a credit card and giving it to someone with terrible credit history that is going to fleece you.

    I don't know why you'd include the information on the application, but the T&C said they would create a link and they did.

    If there is no real financial link then applying to have it removed would seem to be the first step. If you have no joint accounts then there is not much they can do. If you're worried about your partners handling of money then maybe do something about that too.
    Last edited by phillw; 03-02-2017 at 10:46 AM.
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 6th Feb 17, 10:35 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    darkh0rse
    Hey folks

    Just to clarify - I was NOT due to be an additional cardholder. The web form itself didn't suggest that either. My details weren't entered for that reason.

    The form suggested (this is from memory, this was 2 years ago) something jovial along the lines of "please tell us about your partner" or something seemingly innocent. It was not to become a joint cardholder, it was not a joint application, it was not an additional cardholder.

    Then next thing, a financial link is created.

    My problem being that it was not a joint application and it was never suggested it was a joint application.

    The effect on us has been negligible, but it was the principle of the matter. How can M&S get away with creating a financial link?? Especially as Martin said on the programme even MARRAIGE doesn't generate a financial link, so why on Earth should an extremely short form with minimal info (name, age, salary) create one?

    No case updates yet but I will update in due course.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 6th Feb 17, 10:54 AM
    • 3,614 Posts
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    GingerBob
    Hey folks

    Just to clarify - I was NOT due to be an additional cardholder. The web form itself didn't suggest that either. My details weren't entered for that reason.

    The form suggested (this is from memory, this was 2 years ago) something jovial along the lines of "please tell us about your partner" or something seemingly innocent. It was not to become a joint cardholder, it was not a joint application, it was not an additional cardholder.

    Then next thing, a financial link is created.

    My problem being that it was not a joint application and it was never suggested it was a joint application.

    The effect on us has been negligible, but it was the principle of the matter. How can M&S get away with creating a financial link?? Especially as Martin said on the programme even MARRAIGE doesn't generate a financial link, so why on Earth should an extremely short form with minimal info (name, age, salary) create one?

    No case updates yet but I will update in due course.
    Originally posted by darkh0rse

    I've seen this on application forms. They are bang out of order with this one. I hope you do take it up with the ICO and maybe the financial regulators.
    • sargeantsalt
    • By sargeantsalt 6th Feb 17, 10:57 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    sargeantsalt
    Processing must be fair and lawful. For this type of processing, consent is required. The OP/boyfriend is not party to the contract. The authority provided by the girlfriend is inadequate.. The right to process the data is given by contractual agreement between the lender and the girlfriend only. The girlfriend would need a signed power of attorney from the boyfriend giving her the right to agree to processing of data on his behalf and only then could the lender have the right to create an association. If the lender / CRA are right, it would mean that any person could give authority to be linked to any other person without their knowledge. The CRA is acting as agent for the lender and relies on the lender getting appropriate authority. The status quo is that the CRA has very little accountability if they are acting in good faith on the instructions of the lender. Howver, under the DPA, CRAs do have an obligation to ensure data is accurate. As the link was made on the basis of inaccurate information from the lender (that there was authority when there was not) the CRA must remove the link.
    Last edited by sargeantsalt; 07-02-2017 at 11:22 AM.
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 7th Feb 17, 10:23 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    darkh0rse
    Thanks, yes SargeantSalt, with a few short fields and very little information, they made a link. Totally wrong IMO.

    The case is indeed with both the Ombudsman and the ICO. Let's see what happens.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 7th Feb 17, 12:42 PM
    • 4,206 Posts
    • 1,285 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    Something that I'm not clear on:

    Does the OP have a financial association from another credit product already?
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 7th Feb 17, 12:43 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    darkh0rse
    No, no previous financial links from any other credit product.
    • darkh0rse
    • By darkh0rse 14th Feb 17, 1:54 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    darkh0rse
    Well the Ombudsman have replied as follows.

    When the application was made in May 2014, you added your financial details to it and by
    association this has been reflected in your credit file.

    As discussed today, you accepted that your credit file must reflect the actions that you have
    taken, and although you were unaware at the time that you would party to this application, you
    have told me I can close this complaint based on the information I have seen to date.

    what happens next
    I think this is a fair outcome in the circumstances, for the reasons I’ve explained. If you decide
    that you don’t accept my view, then an ombudsman here can look at everything again and make
    a final decision.
    He told me a lot has changed since 2014 and terms & conditions have been made clearer for these sorts of occurrences which I suppose was the main reason for my complaint in the first place.

    Will see what the ICO view is when they respond.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 14th Feb 17, 1:58 PM
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    GingerBob
    Well the Ombudsman have replied as follows.



    He told me a lot has changed since 2014 and terms & conditions have been made clearer for these sorts of occurrences which I suppose was the main reason for my complaint in the first place.

    Will see what the ICO view is when they respond.
    Originally posted by darkh0rse

    Based on the response, the ombudsman is an obfuscating moron, and if you cut and paste the reply, it would appear that he can't even use English correctly.
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