As a seasoned commercial credit risk practitioner, I’ve witnessed firsthand the invaluable benefits of cultivating a robust network beyond organizational boundaries, courtesy of credit networks. These networks, tailored for credit professionals and often specializing in diverse industries, provide a wealth of opportunities for collaboration and information exchange.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) emphasizes the procompetitive nature of trade association activities, assuring practitioners that, with proper safeguards, these activities need not pose an antitrust risk. However, it’s crucial to tread carefully in interactions with fellow credit professionals, avoiding disclosure of future actions concerning customers and steering clear of sharing pricing details.

The FTC underscores the illegality of using trade associations to control or suggest member prices, cautioning against using information-sharing programs as a veiled means of fixing prices. Notably, reporting cost-related information and historical data, rather than current or future prices, minimizes antitrust concerns.

A recent Credit Research Foundation (CRF) webinar, supported by Lowenstein Sandler LLP, delved into the intricacies of antitrust concerns (CLICK HERE). This comprehensive discussion addresses pressing questions, providing recommended answers and shedding light on navigating the legal landscape.

During the webinar, the topic of a credit professional sharing an action they took in the past, such as placing an account on CIA, implementing cash-in-advance terms, or reducing a line of credit was discussed. Legal concerns were raised about sharing such information, highlighting the importance of thorough quantitative and qualitative analyses supporting credit actions shared within an organization as a prerequisite to justifying a credit action.

As an outcome of this insightful webinar, CRF will dedicate a session to this topic at the March Forum (CLICK HERE). This event will feature a roundtable discussion, bringing together expert and seasoned credit professionals, attorneys, and credit group organizations to explore the dos and don’ts of sharing information within credit exchange networks. Additionally, you can access the antitrust document, A Business Guide to Antitrust for Credit Professionals, from our website (CLICK HERE).

Join us for an engaging and informative discussion, where industry experts will share insights and strategies for navigating the delicate terrain of credit information sharing. Learn about the latest trends, legal considerations, and best practices that will empower you in making informed decisions within your credit network. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your understanding of the nuances surrounding customer information exchange in the dynamic world of credit networks.

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