Experian plc
Type Public company (LSEEXPN)
Industry Business Services
Founded 1980 as Information Services Company
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Key people
  • John Peace, Chairman
  • Don Robert,[1] CEO
  • Paul Brooks, CFO
Revenue US $3.88 billion (2010)[2]
Operating income US $693 million (2010)[2]
Net income US $636 million (2010)[2]
Employees 15,500
Website experiangroup.com

Experian plc, formerly known as CCN Systems, is a global credit information group with operations in 36 countries. The company employs 15,500 people with corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and operational headquarters in Nottingham, England and Costa Mesa, California, US. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



Experian's principal lines of business are credit services, marketing solutions, decision analytics and interactive services. The company collects information on people, businesses, motor vehicles and insurance. It also collects 'lifestyle' data from on- and off-line surveys.

Its databases contain credit information[3] on 215 million people in the United States and 450 million vehicles, including title and registration data. It provides address information for more than 20 billion promotional mail items to more than 100 million households every year. Experian also provides credit reports on businesses. This business unit partnered with eCredit[4] (now Cortera) in June 2007.

Like the other major credit reporting bureaus, Experian is chiefly regulated in the United States by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, signed into law in 2003, amended the FCRA to require the credit reporting companies to provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report per 12 month period. Like its main competitors, TransUnion and Equifax, Experian markets credit reports directly to consumers. Experian heavily markets its for-profit credit reporting service, FreeCreditReport.com, and all three agencies have been criticized and even sued for selling credit reports that can be obtained at no cost.[5][6]

Experian US handles its credit disputes in its National Consumer Assistance Center (NCAC) in Allen, Texas. You may contact the NCAC once you have a copy of your personal credit report by calling the number that is located on the personal credit report itself. Experian opened a second NCAC in Santiago, Chile during the summer of 2007. Many divisions of the Allen NCAC as well as several other business functions including software development have been relocated to the Chile location.

Experian provides regional data at nationalscoreindex.com which shows average credit scores by region and zip code as well as various other measures of household debt. The site does not indicate if it uses a FICO based credit score, the new VantageScore, or some other scoring model.

The company's largest operation is Experian North America, a consumer credit reporting agency that is considered one of the three largest American credit agencies along with Equifax and TransUnion. (There is also a 4th credit agency known as Innovis.) In addition to the US, Experian has operations in most European countries, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa, China, India, Malaysia, Japan and Australia.


The Company was founded by John Peace in 1980 in Nottingham as CCN systems, an information services business owned by GUS plc.[7]

In 1996 GUS plc acquired the US credit reporting business Experian, formerly known as TRW Information Services, from Bain Capital and the Thomas H. Lee Partners.[8] GUS combined Experian with CCN. GUS retained the Experian name for its combined credit services subsidiary.[9]

In 2004 Experian acquired CheetahMail, a business founded in 1998 that provided e-mail marketing software and services.[10] In the same year Experian also acquired QAS, a supplier of contact data management and identity verification solutions.[11]

In 2005 Experian became the first company to win the UK Business of the Year award twice, having also won in 2003.[12]

In August 2005 Experian accepted a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that Experian had violated a previous settlement with the FTC. The FTC's allegations concerned customers who signed up for the "free credit report" at Experian's Consumerinfo.com site. The FTC alleged that ads for the "free credit report" did not adequately disclose that Experian would automatically enroll customers in Experian's $79.95 credit-monitoring program.[13][14]

In 2005 Experian acquired PriceGrabber for $485 million.[15] Also in 2005, Experian acquired FootFall, an information provider to the retail and retail property industries:[16] FootFall is now a part of Experian's marketing solutions division. Still in 2005, Experian acquired LowerMyBills.com for $330 million USD.[17]

In September 2006 Experian announced its purchase of Northern Credit Bureaus, located in Quebec, Canada.[18]

In October 2006 Experian was demerged from the British company GUS plc and listed on the London Stock Exchange.[19]

In mid-2007 Experian acquired a number of software companies with products that filled gaps in their existing portfolio. The intention was to be able to offer Experian's customers an Experian-branded product for all phases of the customer lifecycle. These included:

  • Emailing Solution, a French e-mail marketing company. The intention was to grow the existing CheetahMail business with the acquisition of this new client portfolio.[20]
  • Hitwise, an internet monitor that collects data directly from information service provider networks.[21]
  • Tallyman[22] debt collection management software from Bristol-based Talgentra.[23]

In January 2008 Experian announced that it would cut over 200 jobs at its Nottingham office as it moved development work to India to reduce costs.[24]

Experian shut down its Canadian operations on 2009-04-18.[25]

Experian purchases RentBureau in June 2010, which houses rental payment histories on over 7 million US residents, this data will now be included in Experian US consumer credit reports as of January 2011.[26]

Experian purchases a majority stake in Techlightenment on 17 January 2011, as part of Experian's strategy to grow its digital marketing capabilities. Techlightenment is a data driven technology and marketing company based in the UK, which helps clients to leverage advertising through key social media platforms. Techlightenment will form part of the UK Experian Marketing Services Division.[27]

Experian released financial 2011 year end results on the 18th May, 2011. Highlights include the following:

  • 13% rise in annual pre-tax profits to $679m from $600m.
  • Sales are up 9% to $4.24 bn from $3.88bn.
  • Dividends payment of 28 cents an increase of 22% year on year.

Experian delivered growth across all of their four key regions, organic growth was 2% in the UK and Ireland, 7% in EMEA/Asia Pacific, 7% North America and 19% in Latin America.

Experian also produced growth across all four key business units, with 7% from Credit Services, 4% at Decision Analytics, 11% at Marketing Services and 9% at Interactive.


Senior management

role salary bonus total
Don Robert[29] Chief executive officer $1,400,000 $2,370,000 $3,770,000
Paul Brooks[30] Chief financial officer £460,000 £779,000 £1,239,000


Financial Education

Experian undertakes public financial education activities in several countries where it operates a consumer credit bureau, including the United States,[31] the UK[32] and Brazil.[33]

See also

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  1. ^ "Experianplc.com". Experianplc.com. http://www.experianplc.com/about-experian/board-and-management.aspx#employShowFieldsContainer2. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Microsoft Word – Prelims announcement BACK FRONT END v2 _3_" (PDF). http://www.experianplc.com/news/company-news/2010/~/media/Files/E/Experian/pdf/news/2010/preliminary-results-19thMay10.pdf. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Experian holds data on 450m consumers and 30m businesses worldwide[dead link]
  4. ^ Experian.com, eCredit
  5. ^ Sullivan, Bob (10 May 2005). "Many free credit reports still aren't free". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7803368/. Retrieved 29 October 2006. 
  6. ^ "Experian, Consumerinfo.com Named In Class Action Suit". ConsumerAffairs.com. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/experian_class_action.html. Retrieved 29 October 2006. 
  7. ^ Growing information arm shows value of Experian[dead link]
  8. ^ "Large British Retailer to buy US credit data company". New York Times. 15 November 1996. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9501E2DF173AF936A25752C1A960958260. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Experian plc – History Retrieved on 2010-07-15
  10. ^ Mickey Alam Khan (4 March 2004). "Experian buys CheetahMail". Dmnews.com. http://www.dmnews.com/Experian-Buys-CheetahMail-Aims-to-Boost-DM-Services/article/83524/. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Jules Grant,, brandrepublic.com, 6 October 2004, 07:00 am (6 October 2004). "Experian buys address software firm QAS for £106m". Brand Republic. http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/223953/experian-buys-address-software-firm-qas-106m/. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Experian named the UK's 'National Business of the Year' for the second time". Highbeam.com. 10 November 2005. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-138537645.html. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Consumerinfo.com Settles FTC Charges". Federal Trade Commission. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/02/cic.shtm. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  14. ^ Quotation marks around "free credit report" are part of FTC press release
  15. ^ "Forbes". Forbes. 14 December 2005. http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2005/12/14/afx2390699.html. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  16. ^ FootFall acquisition press release Retrieved on 2008-05-24
  17. ^ "GUS' Experian buys LowerMyBills.com for initial 330 mln usd UPDATE". Forbes. 5 May 2005. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2005/05/05/afx2001898.html. 
  18. ^ "Experian expands operations in Canada". Qas-experian.com.au. http://www.qas-experian.com.au. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "London Stock Exchange company profile". London Stock Exchange. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-news/stocks/summary/company-summary.html?fourWayKey=GB00B19NLV48JEGBXSET1. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  20. ^ Dianna Dilworth (3 May 2007). "Experian buys France's Emailing Solution". Direct Marketing News. http://www.dmnews.com/Experian-buys-Frances-Emailing-Solution-to-grow-CheetahMail/article/95434/. 
  21. ^ Hitwise acquisition press release. Retrieved on 2008-03-01.
  22. ^ "Tallyman". Experian Decision Analytics. http://www.experian-da.com/solutions/tallyman.html. 
  23. ^ Experian Acquires Tallyman Collections Software. Retrieved on 2009-01-23
  24. ^ Experian to cut 200 jobs Computer Weekly. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  25. ^ Experian Canada. Retrieved on 2009-03-25
  26. ^ "Experian US – Rent Data Now in Credit Reports". Creditgeeks.co.uk. http://www.creditgeeks.co.uk/news/experian-us-includes-rent-payment-data-in-credit-reports/. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "Experian plc – Acquisition of stake in Techlightenment". Uk.finance.yahoo.com. http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/Experian-plc-Acquisition-afxcnf-904321303.html?x=0&.v=1. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  28. ^ "Experian Year End Financial Results 2011". Creditgeeks.co.uk. http://www.creditgeeks.co.uk/experian/experian-year-end-results-2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  29. ^ "Don Robert: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=1246449&capId=8122148. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  30. ^ "Paul Brooks: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=1425531&capId=8122148. Retrieved 17 September 2009. 
  31. ^ "Credit education: Understand, Build and Manage Your Credit". Experian.com. 31 December 1999. http://www.experian.com/credit-education/credit-information.html. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  32. ^ "Credit resources". Experian.co.uk. http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/learningzone.html. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  33. ^ "A importância da Educação Financeira". Serasaexperian.com.br. http://www.serasaexperian.com.br/educacaofinanceira/. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

External links

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