KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman is suing a credit reporting agency and a bank for “falsely” naming him a defaulter over an overdraft facility he claims to have never taken.
In his defamation and negligence suit filed at the sessions court here, Ranjit Kumar Singh, 46, of Subang Jaya, said he found a temporary overdraft facility worth RM128,087 with CIMB Bank on record after searching for his credit score on CTOS, a credit reporting agency, last year.
He claimed that CTOS and CIMB flagged the overdraft facility as a special attention account (SAA), a label typically placed by banks on persons being pursued over unpaid loans.
Ranjit, who runs an event management company, said he had since been barred from taking any loans or credit facilities due to the adverse credit score and the SAA flag.
He claimed the non-existent overdraft and poor credit score, as a result of false credit reporting, had led him to disrepute among those dealing with him in his business.
Ranjit claimed CTOS had engaged in “fraudulent reporting and defamation” and that CIMB’s “sharing of the false credit information” to credit rating agencies had affected his credit standing.
He claimed that despite repeated letters to CIMB and CTOS for an explanation since last August, he did not get a reply. He has also written to Bank Negara on the matter.
Ranjit is seeking to have his CTOS record regarding his overdraft facility removed and he also wants the court to order CIMB to stop providing false information relating to him to all credit reporting agencies.
In addition, he is seeking an injunction to stop CTOS from updating its database with credit information concerning him. He claims the false credit reporting data is tantamount to libel.
Ranjit is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages deemed fit by the court, including legal costs at an interest of 5% a year.
CIMB, in its statement of defence, said Ranjit had taken an overdraft facility worth RM15,000 on April 17, 2006, via Southern Bank (which was later taken over by CIMB).
After he defaulted for nearly two years, CIMB took Ranjit to court and obtained a default judgement ordering him to pay RM16,335.31 with interest.
“When a court judgement is obtained, all information regarding it becomes public information. We have also never given any information to CTOS,” the statement read.
In its statement of defence, CTOS denied malicious intent, saying it obtained credit information via Bank Negara’s Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS), which in turn relied on credit data supplied by banks.
“[…] any verification of its (credit score) accuracy is not within the control of the first defendant (CTOS),” the statement read.
CTOS also denied claims of defamation, as the credit score was not published or circulated to third parties, saying it had abided by laws related to credit reporting. It also claimed it had referred Ranjit’s complaints to Bank Negara on the first instant.
The case will be up for mention on Aug 22 before sessions court judge Zulqarnain Hassan.
FMT has contacted CTOS for comment, while CIMB, in response, said: “We cannot disclose or comment on specific names or customers. At all times, CIMB is committed to ensuring fair treatment for customers.”