Registry Trust

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Registry Trust's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Registry Trust is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Chairman Mick McAteer
224 million business decisions
in 2018 were made using our
judgment data
The genesis of the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines
goes back to Gladstone’s time, when it was established
to “promote commerce and trade” – this remains at the
core of what Registry Trust does today. Judgment data is used
by lenders and the credit information industry. The TrustOnline
service allows the public to check the Register before doing
business with other parties. Mick McAteer explains that the
Trust is an integral part of the economic ecosystem, helping
consumers get access to credit, promoting responsible lending
and borrowing, and informed business decisions.
We currently hold 5.5 million records. In 2019 alone, we processed over 1.6 million
records. Our data was used in 224 million business decisions in 2018.
We were set up as a non-profit organisation in 1985 by serial social entrepreneur
Malcolm Hurlston, to operate the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for
England and Wales. Until then, the Register had been operated by the government.
Registry Trust then added judgments from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of
Man, Jersey, the Republic of Ireland and recently Guernsey.
Registry Trust is a successful example of the government outsourcing to a non-
profit organisation guided by a public value ethos with integrity, efficiency and
quality at its core. Our data must be accurate and timely. When we started, our
team processed two million pieces of paper a year and photocopied each piece of
paper up to four times to send the data to credit reference agencies. Nowadays,
the data gathering, processing and distribution is mostly automated, but that
absolute commitment to data integrity, efficiency and quality never changes.
»Chairman: Mick McAteer
»Established in: 1985
»Based in London
»Services: Register of
Judgments, Orders and Fines;
Data Analysis; Membership
Portal Services
»No. of employees: 28
»Registry Trust is a non-profit
which partners with the
government to provide a
public service – at no cost to
the public purse
Registry Trust
Highlighting best practice
Providing public value
We are conscious that as a not-for-
profit body we can provide public value
over and above our essential economic
role. We demonstrate this public value
through our new initiative called Public
Data for the Public Good. This initiative
has three pillars – economy, public
Our data is one of the few real-time
indicators of the state of the economy,
household finances and creditor
behaviour. We have very robust
historical, regional and local-level data.
We can enhance the role we play in
providing insight and analysis that
supports good economic and financial
Similarly, our data can be used to
better inform policy decisions. We
are exploring ways to collaborate
with, and make our data available to,
policymakers, regulators, think-tanks
and charities, and academics.
There is scope for more public data to
be organised in a way that is useful
to society. We are exploring how we
can build on our role as a trusted data
intermediary and use our public-value
ethos and skills to provide greater
transparency in public and corporate
life, encourage better behaviours by
public bodies and corporations, and
help citizens hold them to account.
Get some satisfaction
Our Get Satisfaction campaign intends
to raise consumer awareness of the
need to ensure judgments are marked
as satisfied. Unless the courts, in
England and Wales, or Registry Trust,
in other jurisdictions, are provided with
proof of a debt being paid it remains
marked as outstanding on the Register.
This will adversely affect credit ratings,
and the proportion of judgments
marked as satisfied has fallen to
worryingly low levels.
Claimants do not have to notify the
courts or Registry Trust that a debt has
been repaid. We want legislators and
regulators to change that. Until then,
our public awareness campaign is an
important step in helping consumers
regain access to mainstream consumer
credit markets and rebuild their
financial health.
Our data covers all
jurisdictions in the UK
As a not-for-
data, we
provide public
value over and
above our
economic role
Survival, recovery and
We have to respond to emerging
political, economic and technological
challenges. We are unlikely to be
significantly affected by Brexit, even if
some major clients will be.
Emerging technologies such as big
data, fintech and Open Banking
are heralded as “transforming” or
“disrupting” the way lending decisions
are made. We will adapt to these
developments. So far, it seems these
new technologies will supplement, not
displace, the importance of judgment
data in lending decisions.
Data has intrinsic and personal value.
Quite rightly, GDPR gives the public
much tougher data protection rights.
We do not see this as a burden. Data
integrity is paramount to us, and the
need for trusted data intermediaries is
becoming all the more important.
Of course, the main challenge facing
us, our clients and households is
the economic shock caused by the
Covid-19 pandemic. In operational
terms, as a small, agile organisation
we were able to rapidly close down
the office to protect our staff and
move to remote working. We do
not underestimate the impact of the
economic slowdown on the lending
industry, business, especially SMEs,
and households. The impact could be
worse than that caused by the 2008
financial crisis. The effects will last for
some time.
The various support schemes operated
by government, regulators, lenders and
other creditors which cushioned the
impact on SMEs and households are
expected to be wound down soon. The
economic crisis will then play out in three
phases – financial survival, recovery and
rebuilding. We do not know when the
economy will recover. Until then, many
businesses and households will struggle
to survive financially.
Even when the recovery comes,
the problems for businesses and
households will not end as lenders and
other creditors try to rebuild balance
sheets, recoup losses and recover
outstanding debts and arrears. We
will need a combined effort from
policymakers, regulators, the third
sector and the financial sector to
rebuild and restructure business and
household finances. Our trustworthy
data on the state of the economy and
household finances will be core to that
collective effort.
data will be
core to the
effort required
to rebuild the
economy and
finances in the
aftermath of
There was a 30%
increase in judgments
against young people
between 2018 and
2019. 3x higher than the
national increase

This article was sponsored by Registry Trust. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster