Oakbrook and Experian pilot to help more people get access to fairer, affordable credit

Digital lending platform Oakbrook will soon be able to offer an additional service to enable more people access to fairer and affordable credit, as they pilot Experian’s Work Report™ tool, a feature of Experian’s Affordability Passport, to enhance their loan application process.

Using the Work Report feature, customer’s applying for a loan with Oakbrook will be able to give consent to share their employment information in a single digital exchange.

Experian’s Work Report™, provides direct confirmation of a customer’s gross and net income, as well as employment status and tenure, in a matter of seconds. The service is the first digital verification service that allows a customer to consent to digitally share their payroll information.

Work Report™ is produced in partnership with global Fintech platform Salary Finance and recently onboarded payroll software providers, Sage and Zellis. It will give the opportunity for 1 in 3 (over 10 million) employees to share their employment details.

Combining real time access to granular transaction and employment information provides a more rounded picture of credit and affordability risk. Adding Work Report, to their already existing set of tools, further enables Oakbrook to accurately confirm a customer’s affordability, helping make a faster and simplified lending decision based on their financial position.

Testing of the service by Oakbrook Finance prior to launch has shown a potential 10% increase in acceptance rates, on some consumer segments applying for credit, without any compromise to affordability assessments or credit performance.

The verification service can be used throughout the credit application process to reduce credit risk and minimise fraud. It also adds to the tools Oakbrook already uses to meet affordability regulations and treat customers fairly.

Paul Speirs, Managing Director of Digital Consumer Information at Experian, said: “This partnership comes at an incredibly important time, as many will be feeling the strain of fluidity in the UK employment market and pressure on household incomes from a rise in the cost of living. The ability to accurately verify a customer’s employment information provides a much better understanding of a customer’s affordability and provides them with affordable products that suit their financial circumstances.

“This is good news for new customers, some who may have been previously declined, and existing customers including those who experienced a financial shock. We’re delighted to be working alongside Oakbrook on this exciting pilot.”

James Blakey, Chief Analytics Officer at Oakbrook said: “We’re delighted to be working with Experian and Salary Finance on this pilot for Work Report, and to be the first UK lender to trial it. By using Work Report, we’re adding to our already extensive set of tools which help us assess the affordability of loans for our applicants. Our purpose is to simplify and personalise borrowing and we’re really looking forward to seeing the role that Work Report will play in helping us achieve this.”