Purpose ? This paper examines the activities carried out in the UK by credit refer agencies, current business practices, and the legal standing of credit reporting. Design/methodology/approach ? Legal analysis that aims to demonstrate that the current legal framework is inadequate. Findings ? It suggests areas and issues for further legal debate and policy consideration. Ultimately, this study puts forward the case for specific legislative intervention to strike a balance between privacy rights, discrimination concerns, and the needs of the credit industry. Originality/value ? Little or no research has been conducted on the topic by lawyers.