So if the UK Government decided to force unpopular charges on to its citizens, do you think they would refuse? Oh I forgot they did; check out “UK poll tax riots” in the 1980s. Very unpopular – why did they all pay? Irish xenophobia would say they are all very compliant, obedient types over there, however; the real answer lies in credit scores. We Irish don’t have them and therefore don’t miss what we never had. They are a bit like postal codes; we understand them but wonder how useful they really are. We Irish have what US citizens call “thin FICOs”. If you have one of these in the US, it means you have just arrived, just come of age or just have so much family money that you never had to borrow. In the US and the UK, banking systems we attempt to emulate, banks report all loans drawn and paid back to a place called a credit bureau. Our Credit Bureau was owned by the banks and was so ineffective it has been taken over by the Central Bank and the management of it outsourced.
What’s the problem, I hear you ask if you’ve paid your debts? Well if you have no credit score then no one is going to lend to you except the bank you’ve been with man & boy. You’re an unknown quantity to all other institutions. So, you’ve guessed it, you are stuck with your local bank unless you want to start with a new bank all over again and then you’re stuck with that bank.
So no one in Ireland really cares about their credit score. If the UK Government issued invoices and their citizens ignored them, then they’d end up on their credit score and guess what – no one would lend to them or at the very least, no one would lend cheaply to them – and when they did lend to them, it was called sub prime!!!!!!