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Credit Rating Services

Most people know what being blacklisted means. If you don’t, it’s time to learn. A ‘blacklist’ is, basically, a register of people who, for one reason or another, are denied a particular privilege, service, etc. Most importantly, it applies to our financial affairs.

If you default on payments, or have a judgment against you for the payment of money, the chances are good that you will get ‘blacklisted’.1 Nothing actually happens to you, but the problem is that you will not be able to get credit from anyone.2 Generally, all banks, retailers, finance houses, etc. subscribe to regular reports compiled, updated and provided by credit rating agencies.

The Credit Rating Services Act 20123 provides for the registration of these agencies, to regulate their activities and for matters connected therewith. It falls under the authority of the Minister of Finance. The purpose of the Act is to ensure responsible credit rating, protect the integrity of the process, improve investor protection, and facilitate transparency in the financial markets.

‘Credit rating’ means an opinion regarding the creditworthiness of any person or entity; or of a share stock, financial instrument or similar security, or of the entity who issues it.

  1. It is a criminal offence to perform credit rating services, or issue a credit rating, unless you are registered in terms of the Act.4

  2. If you give information which is misleading, false or deceptive, or conceal any material fact in connection with a credit rating or registration, or any enquiry, you are guilty of an offence.5

  3. Any person who, in executing his duties in terms of the Act, gives an auditor or compliance officer information which is false, misleading or deceptive, or conceals any material fact, is guilty of an offence.6

  1. There is no such thing, literally, as a list coloured black. 

  2. In March 2014, Parliament passed ‘an enactment’ granting amnesty to over 2 million South Africans who had been ‘blacklisted’. 

  3. As amended; the latest amendment was effected by Act 45 of 2013. 

  4. Section 3(2) read together with section 32. 

  5. Section 32. 

  6. Section 32.