What type of personal information do we collect?
The personal information we collect from you is used primarily to enable us to provide the specific service you require and to help you access your account, securely.
Personal information can include the following:
• your title, forename and surname and gender;
• your personal or work related (depending on which you choose to submit) e-mail address and your password (which allow us to create your user account and your unique agreement number and send you information, correspondence and statements regarding your account via e-mail);
• your personal or work related contact details (depending on which you choose to submit) such as your telephone number(s), fax numbers and postal address;
• your date of birth and national insurance number;
• your marital status;
• your residential status and address details for the last 3 years;
• occupation, salary and annual income information;
• employment status;
• employer details and time periods in that occupation and with that employer and any other employers within a 3 year period;
• your bank details, including your bank name and address, sort code, account number, account type and time period at your bank;
• your contact and marketing preferences;
• if you take a survey or interact with us in various other ways - demographics information and information about subjects that may interest you;
• information necessary for legal compliance; and/or
• where you "like" us or make posts on our pages on social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
This information will be collected primarily from you as information voluntarily provided to us, but we may also collect it where lawful to do so from (and combine it with information from) credit reference and fraud prevention agencies, public sources, third party service providers (such as Experian Limited trading as HD Decisions who will conduct a soft credit search as part of our “Check my Eligibility” service), tax or law enforcement agencies and other third parties. We may also collect personal information about you from your use of other Company or Group websites or services.
What other information do we collect and why?
We automatically collect standard internet and website log information to understand how our website visitors behave, which we use to improve your experience online. This may include information about your Internet Service Provider, your operating system, browser type, domain name, the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer (or other electronic Internet-enabled device), your access times, the website that referred you to us, the web pages you request and the date and time of those requests.
In addition, we may also record phone conversations to offer you additional security, resolve complaints, for staff training purposes and to improve our service standards.
When you use any of the services below, you may need to provide us with some additional personal information so that we can liaise with you in order to deal with your request, query, loan application and/or customer account registration. If you do choose to provide us with your personal information, we will collect that information for our own use and for the purposes described in this Policy.
• use our 'live chat' facility to speak to one of our Personal Loans Advisors;
• contact us by email using the information on our sites;
• apply for any of our loans, including our personal loans, car loans, home improvement loans, small loans, loans over 25K and leisure loans;
• create a My Hitachi Personal Finance account;
• check your eligibility for a loan by using our “Check your Eligibility” service (which will mean you request a soft search of your credit file from Experian Limited, trading as HD Decisions, and on which there is more information below)
• sign up to receive our various newsletters by email; and
• be notified of products and/or services that may be of interest to you (based on your purchase history or browsing of our Sites).
How we use your information
We may use information about you for the following purposes:
• to respond and/or deal with your request, enquiry or “Live Chat” questions;
• to process and administer your loan application and/or your “Check my Eligibility” search;
• to carry out credit reference checks and for the purposes of preventing fraud. For further details on credit reference and fraud prevention checks and use of your personal information for these purposes please see the section below entitled “Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies”;
• to improve our products and services and to ensure that content from the Sites is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer (or other electronic Internet-enabled device);
• to administer the sites;
• for internal record keeping;
• to contact you (directly, either by the Company, Group or through a relevant partner or agent) by e-mail or phone for any of the above reasons;
• subject to your consent where required under applicable laws, to carry out direct marketing and/or e-mail marketing;
• where necessary as part of any restructuring of the Company or sale of the Company's business or assets;
• to perform any contract the Company has with you;
• for compliance with our legal, regulatory and other good governance obligations; and
• to analyse trends and customer journeys in using and accessing our sites.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive and may be updated from time to time as business needs and legal requirements dictate. Some of the personal information that we maintain will be kept in paper files, while other personal information will be included in computerized files and electronic databases.
In addition, we may use your personal information as necessary for the exercise of our legitimate business interests and needs (subject to data protection laws).
We may convert your personal information into anonymous form and use it (normally on an aggregated statistical basis) for research and analysis purposes, such as to improve the content on the websites.
In addition, we may use pixels or transparent GIF files, to help manage online advertising.
Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies
We may use credit reference and fraud prevention agencies to help us make decisions in relation to your application for a loan.
Q: What is a credit reference agency?
A: Credit reference agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information on consumers’ and businesses’ credit behavior, on behalf of organisations in the UK.
Q: What is a fraud prevention agency?
A: Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs) collect, maintain and share, information on known and suspected fraudulent activity. Some CRAs also act as FPAs.
Q: Why do you use them when I have applied to your Company?
A: Although you have applied to us and we will check our own records, we will also contact CRAs to get information on your credit behaviour with other organisations. This will help us make the best possible assessment of your overall situation before we make a decision.
Q: Where do they get the information?
A: From the following sources:
• Publicly available information:
• The Electoral Register from Local Authorities
• County Court Judgments from Registry Trust
• Bankruptcy (and other similar orders) from the Insolvency Service.
Fraud information may also come from fraud prevention agencies.
Credit information comes from information on applications to banks, building societies, credit card companies etc and also from the conduct of those accounts.
Q: How will I know if my information is to be sent to a CRA or FPA?
A: You will be told when you apply for an account if your application data is to be supplied. We will tell you how, when and why we will search at CRAs and FPAs and what we will do with the information we obtain from them. We will also tell you if we plan to send payment history information on you or your business, if you have one, to CRAs. You can ask at any time the name of CRAs and FPAs.
Q: Why is my data used in this way?
A: We and other organisations want to make the best possible decisions we can, in order to make sure that you, or your business, will be able to repay us. Some organisations may also use the information to check your identity. In this way we can ensure that we all make responsible decisions. At the same time we also want to make decisions quickly and easily and, by using up to date information, provided electronically, we are able to make the most reliable and fair decisions possible.
Q: Who controls what such agencies are allowed to do with my data?
A: All organisations which collect and process personal data are regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998, overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office. All credit reference agencies are in regular dialogue with the Commissioner. Use of the Electoral Register is controlled under the Representation of the People Act 2000.
Q: Can just anyone look at my data held at credit reference agencies?
A: No, access to your information is very strictly controlled and only those that are entitled to do so may see it. Usually that will only be with your agreement or (very occasionally) if there is a legal requirement.
What Hitachi Capital does with your information
Please read this section very carefully.
1. When you apply to us to open an account, we will:
a) Check our own records for information on:
• your personal accounts;
• and if you have one, your financial associates’ personal accounts. A financial associate is someone with whom you have a personal relationship that creates a joint financial unit in a similar way to a married couple. You will normally have been living at the same address at the time. It is not intended to include temporary arrangements such as students or rented flat sharers or business relationships.
• if you are an owner, director or partner in a small business we may also check on your business accounts. A small business is defined as an organisation which might be sole trader, partnership or a limited company that has three or less partners or directors.
b) Search at credit reference agencies for information on:
• your personal accounts;
• and if you are making a joint application now or have ever done the following we will check your financial associates’ personal accounts as well:
- previously made joint applications;
- have joint account(s);
- are financially linked. Credit reference agencies may link together the records of people that are part of a financial unit. They may do this when people are known to be linked, such as being married or have jointly applied for credit or have joint accounts. They may also link people together if they, themselves, state that they are financially linked
- very occasionally if there is insufficient information to enable us to assist you, we may also use information about other members of your family;
• if you are a director or partner in a small business we may also check on your business accounts;
• Search at fraud prevention agencies for information on you and any addresses at which you have lived and on your business (if you have one).
2. What we do with the information you supply to us as part of the application
a) Information that is supplied to us will be sent to the credit reference agencies.
b) If you are making a joint application or tell us that you have a spouse or financial associate, we will:
• Search, link and/or record information at credit reference agencies about you both;
• Link any individual identified as your financial associate, in our own records;
• Take both your and their information into account in future applications by either or both of you;
• Continue this linking until the account closes, or is changed to a sole account 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.
• 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.
• Your data may also be used by us to offer you other products, but only if you have given your permission. That will be on the front of any form that you have completed.
3) With the information that we obtain we will: -
• Assess this application for credit and/or;
• 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 and/or;
• Undertake checks for the prevention and detection of crime, 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 periodic statistical analysis or testing to ensure the accuracy of existing and future products and services.
• Any or all of these processes may be automated.
4) What we do when you have an account: -
• Where you borrow or may borrow from us, we will give details of your personal and/or business account (if you have one), including names and parties to the account and how you manage it/them to credit reference agencies.
• If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, we will tell credit reference agencies.
• We may make periodic searches of our own group records and at credit reference agencies to manage your account with us, including whether to make credit available or to continue or extend existing credit. We may also check at fraud prevention agencies to prevent or detect fraud.
• If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe us, we will trace your whereabouts and recover debts.
What Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies do
5) When credit reference agencies receive a search from us they will:
• Place a search “footprint” on your credit file whether or not this application proceeds. If the search was for a credit application 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.
• Link together the records of you and anyone that you have advised is your financial associate including previous and subsequent names of parties to the account. Links between financial associates will remain on your and their files until such time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the credit reference agencies.
6) Supply to us: -
• Credit information such as previous applications and the conduct of the accounts in your name and of your associate(s) (if there is a link between you – see 1b above) and/or your business accounts (if you have one).
• Public information such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) and bankruptcies.
• Electoral Register information.
• Fraud prevention information.
7) When information is supplied by us, to them, on your account(s): -
• Credit reference agencies will record the details that are supplied on your personal and/or business account (if you have one) including any previous and subsequent names that have been used by the accountholders and how you/they manage it/them.
• If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, credit reference agencies will record the outstanding debt.
• Records shared with credit reference agencies remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.
8) How your data will NOT be used by credit reference agencies: -
• It will not be used to create a blacklist.
• It will not be used by the credit reference agency to make a decision.
9) How your data WILL be used by credit reference agencies:
a) The information which we and other organisations provide to the credit reference agencies about you, your financial associates and your business (if you have one) may be supplied by credit reference agencies to other organisations and used by them to:
• Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering by, for example checking details provided on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities;
• Check the operation of credit and credit-related accounts
• Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities.
• Make decisions on credit and credit related services about you, your partner, other members of your household or your business.
• Manage your personal, your partner’s and/or business (if you have one) credit or credit related account or other facilities.
• Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
• Undertake statistical analysis and system testing.
10) How your data may be used by fraud prevention agencies:
a) The information which we provide to the fraud prevention agencies about you, your financial associates and your business (if you have one) may be supplied by fraud prevention agencies to other organisations and used by them and us to : -
• Prevent crime, fraud and money laundering by, for example
- checking details provided on applications for credit and credit related or other facilities;
- Managing credit and credit related accounts or facilities;
- Cross Checking details provided on proposals and claims for all types of insurance;
- Checking details on applications for jobs or when checked as part of employment
• Verify your identity if you or your financial associate applies for other facilities including all types of insurance proposals and claims.
• Trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe.
• Conduct other checks to prevent or detect fraud
• We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.
• Undertake statistical analysis and system testing.
11) Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.
12) Your data may also be used to offer you other products, but only where permitted
How to find out more
You can contact the CRAs 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.
CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414
Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0870 010 0583 or log on to www.myequifax.co.uk
Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0844 4818000 or log on to www.experian.co.uk
Please contact the Head of Risk, Hitachi Personal Finance, 2 Apex View, Leeds, LS11 9BH if you want to receive details of the relevant fraud prevention agencies.
Does the Company share my personal information with third parties?
Your personal information will be made available for the purposes mentioned above (or as otherwise notified to you from time to time), on a ‘need-to-know’ basis and only to responsible management, accounting, legal, logistics, audit, compliance, information technology and other corporate staff who properly need to know these details for their functions within the Company. Please note that certain individuals who will see your personal information may not be based at the Group or in your country (please see below).
Where you apply for a loan or use our “Check my Eligibility” function, your personal information may be shared with the UK’s credit reference agencies to carry out credit reference checks and with the UK’s fraud prevention agencies for the purposes of preventing fraud.
We may share personal information within the Group as needed for reasonable management, analysis, planning and decision making, including in relation to taking decisions regarding the expansion and promotion of our product and service offering, order or customer request fulfilment and for use by those companies for the other purposes described in this Policy.
Your personal information may also be made available to third parties (within or outside the Company or Group) providing relevant services under contract to the Company, or the Group (see below for further details). Third parties in this context means other corporate entities within our corporate group, providers to the Company or Group of responsible management, accounting, legal, logistics, audit, compliance, information technology, marketing and other services. This may also include providers of call centres, data storage and database hosting services, IT hosting and IT maintenance services. These companies may use information about you to perform functions on our behalf.
We will not sell your personal information to any third party other than as part of any restructuring of the Company or Group or sale of a relevant Group business.
Will my personal information be transferred abroad?
We have explained above how your personal information may be shared outside of the Company and Group. As part of this, including for instance where we work with service providers, your personal information may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area which don’t have equivalent standards of protection under their legislation and on these occasions we take other steps to protect the data as required under applicable data protection laws.
Managing your marketing preferences
We may wish to provide you with information about new products, services, promotions and offers, which may be of interest to you. We may also invite you to take part in market research or request feedback on our products and services. This communication may occur by e-mail, telephone, post or SMS. We will obtain your consent and advise you of how to opt-out of receiving such communications where we are required to do so in accordance with applicable law, for example by clicking the “unsubscribe” link on any email that we send to you or by emailing our Customer Service team at email@example.com at any time.
Please note that marketing communications are not the same as “information only” communications and that consents are not usually required in order for us to communicate with you about the services you have enquired about or have signed up to obtain through the Sites, using contact details you have provided for this purpose.
Your rights to access your personal information
You have a number of rights in respect of your personal information under applicable data protection law. These include the right to access or obtain copies of your personal information and to have inaccurate information about you corrected. To exercise these rights you would need to write to our Customer Contact Team at Hitachi Personal Finance, 2 Apex View, Leeds, LS11 9BH and enclose a cheque for the statutory fee of £10.
Keeping you informed
We will keep your details on record until we have completely dealt with your request, enquiry or application and then for a reasonable period afterwards, in accordance with data protection and other applicable legislation.
The Company may keep your details on record for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out above and will then endeavour to delete your details in accordance with data protection and other applicable legislation.
Changes to this Policy
We keep this Policy under regular review. We may change this Policy from time to time by updating this page in order to reflect changes in the law and/or our privacy practices. The date at the top of this Policy will be updated accordingly and we encourage you to check this from time to time for any updates or changes.
By using our sites, submitting your personal information to us, registering an account, registering a customer credit account or interacting with us in other ways, you consent to the use of your personal information as described in this Policy (as amended from time to time).
This Policy only extends to the sites and does not, therefore, extend to your use of, provision of data to and collection of data on any website not connected to us to which you may link to by using the hypertext links within this website.
If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us.