§ Lord Rogan
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether credit rating agencies or companies must recognise BFPO addresses when ascertaining the creditworthiness of members of HM Armed Forces; and, if not, why not. [HL894]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Credit rating agencies do not have to recognise BFPO addresses when ascertaining the creditworthiness of Service personnel. There are practical problems in doing so arising both from the software programs used and the frequent changes that would be necessary as personnel move around the world. The Post Office market the unique post code system operated for all United Kingdom addresses. This is used by most commercial organisations but is not compatible with the BPFO numbering system.
The initial rejection of a credit application by the software program will normally be followed by a manual check. However, it is recognised that some companies will not undertake manual checks for small value orders.
This issue has been raised with Ministers by the Service Families Federations. The Service Families Task Force is now discussing the matter with the British Bankers' Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Finance Leasing Association.