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Nova Credit Approved by FCA to Launch Nova Passport Service in UK

Nova Credit UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nova Credit, has received the requisite scope of permissions in order to provide credit references in the UK from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Through its Nova Passport technology, the firm intends to make it easier, faster, and more equitable for immigrants living in the UK to access credit products and services. The likes of which are all too often out of reach to them.

Nova Credit UK’s parent company, US-founded Nova Credit, is a consumer-permissioned credit bureau that’s on a mission to accelerate financial inclusion for immigrants globally. Since launching in 2016, the company has developed partnerships with credit bureaus in over 20 countries. This has enabled millions of immigrants to bring their foreign credit history with them when applying for credit products.

The company counts American Express, HSBC, Verizon, the United Nations Federal Credit Union and SoFi among its global customers. Nova Credit announced its intention to expand to Europe, starting with the UK, in Spring 2022.

Nova Credit’s technology unlocks consumer-permissioned access to over two billion credit profiles worldwide. By working with Nova Credit UK, financial services providers in the UK can now incorporate credit information from foreign bureaus as part of their creditworthiness assessment.

Bringing credit history to the UK

Misha Esipov, co-founder and CEO of Nova Credit, comments:

“The UK is home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse immigrant communities. In fact, one in seven people in the UK was born overseas. We’re thrilled to bring Nova Credit across the Atlantic to support the next generation of UK-bound immigrants. This critical consumer segment is the largest driver of the country’s population growth and is mission-critical to any business looking to maintain and grow market share.”

Collin Galster, non-executive director of Nova Credit UK, comments:

“Using the Nova Passport, UK lenders will be able to understand the financial history of consumers from over 20 countries and instantly use this information to make more fair and inclusive decisions. We’ve been thrilled by the reception we’ve received from the UK’s leading banks, fintechs, auto lenders and telecom providers. We look forward to announcing our first wave of partners in the coming months.”

Millions of creditworthy individuals immigrate to new countries every year. Upon arrival these newcomers leave years of credit history behind them, ‘stuck’ in the countries they’ve left. Without access to their past credit history, lenders have no choice but to automatically decline. Or they can manually process their applications for new finance – which takes time. Subsequently, these people struggle to access fairly priced credit-based products like credit cards, car finance or phone contracts.

No credit left behind

Blending deep relationships with credit bureaus globally and API-driven credit risk technology, Nova Passport pulls newcomers’ established credit data from reputable credit bureaus in their countries of origin. It translates it into an equivalent score and report. This is then suitable for use by lenders and financial services providers in their new host country.

Nova Credit UK’s technology enables UK lenders to make more real-time application approvals responsibly, through a secure integration. Additionally, they can do so at a greater scale to people who would otherwise be excluded from obtaining financial access.

The immigrant population is one of the fastest-growing demographics in the UK. The 2021 Census revealed that 10 million people living in the UK today were born overseas. With 40 per cent of them moving to the UK in the last decade. Government figures show that every year more than 800,000 people are granted long-term visas to work/study in the UK. This data supports research from the Office of National Statistics, predicting 100 per cent of the UK’s annual net population growth will come from immigrants by 2035.

Matt Davies, head of UK market development for Nova Credit, adds:

“There is widespread appreciation among UK financial institutions of the need to be more inclusive. This trend will be accelerated substantially this year when the FCA’s Consumer Duty rules come into effect to help more financial services deliver good outcomes for their customers.”


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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