Experian – the UK’s market leader in credit reference services

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Largely aimed at the financial sector, Experian are one of the market leaders in providing fiscal histories of individuals and businesses. They are the UK’s leading credit reference agency, providing credit scores and related reports to their clients.

Growing from a UK company called GUS plc in the 1970s (who specialised in credit checks on customers making mail-order purchases), Experian now earn around $5 billion in revenues annually worldwide, and still hold their head offices in Dublin, Ireland.

Although primarily known to the public as a provider of personal credit reports (which can help consumers see their own credit score, and judge the kind of loans and mortgages they may be able to receive), the majority of Experian’s income now comes from providing their services to business. The depth of their database means that the company have become a key figure in managing fiscal risk, the prevention of fraud and fighting against identity theft.

Among the many customers that use their services, Experian can count some of the world’s largest corporations and banks – Barclays, eBay, Tesco and IBM are among their clients, something which has contributed to their dominance over nearest competitor Callcredit.

In addition to their core business, Experian have attempted to branch out into other industries – price comparison service PriceGrabber.com, e-mail marketing platform CheetahMail and consumer advice website LowerMyBills.com have all been acquired by the company, with limited success for each.