No. It is essential that you have the permission of the individual you are searching before you run the search; this is due to the Data Protection Act [1998] as every search leaves an electronic footprint on their credit file. The individual who has been searched will also be able to view that you have carried out a search and why.

Who Can Use Consumer Reports?

Any organization which;

  • Has a Data Protection License


  • Holds a Consumer Credit License
  • Definitely required if issuing credit agreements

For full guidance see the OFT website (

And Also has consent

  • Consent is required for searches to be carried out
  • Often on terms of business / application form
  • Can be verbal – must be scripted for consistency