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A guide on how BMW Financial Services and credit reference and fraud prevention agencies use your personal data when you apply for finance from BMW Financial Services

This guide covers the following subject areas:

  • What we do when you apply to us for finance
  • What we do when you have a finance agreement with us
  • What the Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies will do
What we do when you apply to us for finance

a) We may check our own records and search at credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies for information, including credit details, on you and, if you have one, your financial associates (a financial associate is a person with whom you have, or have had, joint personal financial arrangements such as joint accounts or have made joint credit applications, for example a spouse or partner), other members of your family and if you are an owner, director or partner in a small business, your business.

b) We may pass information that is supplied to us to credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies. As well as the information you provide directly to us or to the dealer, we may receive information about you from our other group companies and carefully selected business partners who provide products and services under one of our brands and occasionally from other third parties who may lawfully pass to us information about you.

c) If you have any financial associates, we may link and record information about you both in our own records and at credit reference agencies and we, and others, will take their information into account. We may take both your and their information into account in future applications by either or both of you and continue this linking until your agreement ends and one of you notifies us that you are no longer linked. So you must be sure that you have their agreement to disclose information about them.

d) We may obtain references and make enquiries about you from other persons and organisations. If we require any guarantee or other security in relation to your obligations under any proposed agreement, we may provide information about your application to the person you wish to provide the guarantee or other security.

e) If you give us false or inaccurate information and we suspect or identify fraud, we will record this and may also pass this information to fraud prevention agencies and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention.

f) With the information that we obtain we will:

  • Assess your application for credit;
  • Check details on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities;
  • Verify your identity and the identity of your spouse, partner or other directors / partners if applicable; and/or
  • Undertake checks for the prevention and detection of fraud and/or money laundering.
  • We may use scoring methods to assess this application and to verify your identity.
  • Manage your personal and/or business account (if you have one) with ourselves,
  • Undertake periodical statistical analysis or testing to ensure the accuracy of existing and future products and services,
  • Any or all of these processes may be automated.
  • Undertake market research.

What the Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies will do

a) They will place a search footprint on your credit file whenever they receive a search from us. We will make a search when you apply for credit from us and we may also make searches during the period of any agreement you hold with us. If the search was for a credit application they will place a search footprint on your file whether or not your application proceeds and the record of that search (but not the name of the organisation that carried it out) may be seen by other organisations when you apply for credit in the future.

b) They will link together your records and those of anyone that you have advised is your financial associate, including previous and subsequent names of you and any financial associates. Links between financial associates will remain on your and their files until such time as you and your financial associate successfully files for a disassociation with the credit reference agencies.

c) They will supply to us:

  • Credit information such as previous applications and the conduct of accounts in your name and of your associates and/or your business accounts
  • Public information such as County Court Judgements and bankruptcies
  • Electoral Register information; and
  • Fraud prevention information

d) If you have an agreement with us, credit reference agencies will record the details that we supply to them on your agreement and how you manage it. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, credit reference agencies will record the outstanding debt.

e) Records shared with credit reference agencies remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.

f) The information which we, other organisations and fraud prevention agencies provide to the credit reference and fraud prevention agencies about you, your financial associates and your business (if you have one) may be supplied by credit reference and fraud prevention agencies to other organisations and used by them and us to:

  • Prevent fraud and money laundering by, for example, checking details on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities; checking details on proposals and claims for all types of insurance; checking details of job applications and employees
  • Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities including all types of insurance applications and claims
  • Assist other organisations to make decisions on credit and credit related services or other facilities, about you, your partner, other members of your household or your business
  • Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe
  • Manage credit and credit related accounts and other facilities; and
  • Undertake statistical analysis and system testing.

g) Law enforcement agencies may also access and use this information.

h) We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.

You can contact the Credit Reference Agencies currently operating in the UK. The information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee.

Call Credit Consumer Services Team
PO Box 491
(or call 0870 060 1414)

Equifax plc
Credit File Advice Centre
PO Box 3001
(or call 0870 010 0583 or log on to

Experian Consumer Help Service
PO Box 8000
NG80 7WF
(or call 0870 241 6212 or log on to

Please contact us at BMW Customer Information Centre, Selectapost 51, Sheffield, S97 3FZ or call us on 0800 561 0666 if you want to receive details of the relevant Fraud Prevention Agencies.