Nova Credit UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nova Credit, has received approval from The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide credit references in the UK.

The firm intends “to make it easier, faster, and more equitable” for immigrants living in the UK to access credit products and services through its Nova Passport technology, the company said in a statement. 

Nova Credit UK’s parent company, US-founded Nova Credit, is a consumer-permissioned credit bureau with a focus on financial inclusion for immigrants globally.

In April 2022, Nova Credit announced its intention to expand to Europe, starting with the UK.

“Since launching in 2016, the company has developed partnerships with credit bureaus in over 20 countries, enabling millions of immigrants to bring their foreign credit history with them when applying for credit products,” according to a press release. 

Nova Credit’s technology will potentially allow financial service providers in the UK access “to over 2 billion credit profiles worldwide,” meaning they will be able to “incorporate credit information from foreign bureaus as part of their creditworthiness assessment,” the company said. 

Misha Esipov, Co-founder & CEO of Nova Credit, said: “The UK is home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse immigrant communities; 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, said: “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, and look forward to announcing our first wave of partners in the coming months.”

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 and 40% of them moved 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 or study in the UK. This data supports research from the Office of National Statistics that predicts that 100% 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 and 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.” 

The company counts American Express, HSBC, Verizon, the United Nations Federal Credit Union and Sofi among its global customers.