Credit Bureau

1. What is a credit agency?

A credit agency is a private company that collects business-relevant information on individuals and legal entities and passes it on to business partners as a basis for credit checks.

2. Data collection by credit agencies

1. Where does the data come from?

Credit agencies make use of numerous data sources. On the one hand, individuals and companies are asked directly for various information. On the other hand, information from public agencies is also used. Starting with telephone directories for the collection of contact data, through publications in the commercial register to cooperation with debt collection agencies, numerous data converge at the credit agencies and produce a comprehensive picture of the individual economic actor.

2. What data is collected?

In addition to a range of general data, specific data is collected depending on the actor. Below are some examples of information collected.

For private individuals

  • Surname, first name, address, date of birth, contact details

  • Marital status

  • Occupation

  • Assessment of financial situation

  • Payment history

  • Ranking of financial situation

  • historical negative notes

  • Property ownership

  • Real estate

  • shareholdings

  • Bank accounts

  • Data on current accounts, loans, leasing contracts, mobile phone contracts and other credit agreements

For companies

  • Company name, registered office, contact details

  • Legal form

  • Object of the enterprise

  • Branches, subsidiaries

  • Information on the financial situation

  • Payment history

  • Ranking of financial situation

  • historical negative notes

  • Ownership

  • Real estate ownership

  • Shareholdings

  • Bank accounts

  • Key business figures

  • Turnover

  • Profits/Losses

  • Equity ratio

  • Number of employees

3. Self-disclosure

In order to find out what data is stored at a credit agency, you can apply for a so-called self-disclosure. This lists all existing entries about your person. According to Article 8 of the Federal Act on Data Protection, credit agencies are obliged to provide the self-disclosure free of charge upon request. Especially when taking out a loan, it is helpful to be aware of this information, as it has a direct influence on the loan decision and/or the loan conditions.

4. Credit agencies in Switzerland

There are several credit agencies in Switzerland. Among the best known and most important are:

In addition, the IKO (Informationsstelle für Konsumkredit) plays an important role in providing information on credit and leasing transactions concerning private persons. Credit rating data from credit transactions of natural and legal persons are also collected and made available by ZEK (Central Office for Credit Information).