CTOS to equip youngsters with financial knowledge via education institutions

By LYDIA NATHAN

Credit Tip Off Service Data Systems Sdn Bhd (CTOS) has begun working with education institutions with the aim of informing and equipping youngsters with financial knowledge.

CTOS CEO Eric Chan said the credit rating service provider has started working with one university, but plans to expand such collaboration in the coming months to include secondary schools.

“Financial awareness should start from young, we should know our financial status, our credit-worthiness and how to manage our finances right from an early age,” he said at the CTOS Hari Raya open house in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.

He said fresh graduates should plan their finances wisely in order to prevent untoward situations such as being highly indebted in the future. Chan said the move is part of the company’s effort to help transform the way the public view their own credit health and manage their debts and finances.

This can be done via CTOS’ “What’s Your CTOS Score” online test that people can complete for free. In addition to a credit score, CTOS

reports provide comprehensive details on identity verification, business exposure, credit repayment behaviour, legal actions, case statuses, as well as bankruptcy information for the past 24 months. “We are a regulated credit reporting agency. Every year we go through a process and have to fulfil certain requirements in order to keep operating,” Chan told reporters.

He added that for the last three years, the company has strengthened its management with the addition of new directors to comply with all regulations and will continue to do so.

“Being in a much regulated environment, we appointed very senior people to manage the organisation. There are very clear rules on when data can or cannot be shared,” he said.

The public, however, continues to have a misconception of CTOS’ role in the financial sphere. The company at its core is a regulated credit reporting agency and does not in any form blacklist people, as some people may have the view of.

A consultant for the company told reporters that CTOS does not in any way give recommendations, but once someone receives their score and the credit report, CTOS is no longer involved in what the person might be trying to apply for, whether it is a bank loan or a telephone line.