asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what action she is taking to prevent the sale or to control the disposal of credit rating files on the liquidation of debt collecting and similar agencies.
I have no power to do as my right hon. Friend suggests. However, when the relevant provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 are in operation, it will be an offence to carry on a debt collecting or credit reference agency without a licence from the Director General of Fair Trading. This will provide effective supervision over the use of information in such files. Further, the attention of the Director General has been drawn to the problem so that it can be kept under review.