Guyana moves to establish a Credit Rating Bureau. – 21st Nov 2012
Consumers in Guyana will soon be able to know what their credit scores are, as the country moves to establish a Credit Rating Bureau. Following consultations with the private sector, financial institutions and other stakeholders, the Bank of Guyana is set to license an Icelandic registered German company, that would offer the service in Guyana. The company whose application is being considered is Creditinfo International GmbH. The company has been around for over ten years and has operations in Jamaica among several other countries. The company has offered diversified services in the area of credit risk management, with information provision as the core of these services.
Guyana moved to establish the Credit Bureau following the passing of the Credit Reporting Act two years ago. The Bank of Guyana under whose authority the Bureau will fall, has moved to designate various entities as Credit Information Providers in addition to financial institutions. The move means that GTT, Digicel, GPL, GWI, Singer and Courts can inform the Bank of Guyana and the Credit Bureau on how well you manage your bill payments.
According to a senior Bank of Guyana official, the establishment of the Bureau will help individuals to be on top of their finances. The arrangement will allow the commercial banks and other lending agencies to process loans faster and assist in the reduction of non-performing loans generally.
In the past in Guyana, financial institutions have had to do their own background checks into the credit history of clients and some hire-purchase agencies have used references to establish how a consumer can manage money. The Credit Bureau being considered by the Bank of Guyana will have to comply with specific international standards on the handling and transmitting of personal information.
In terms of fears, the Bank of Guyana official noted that the approval of a credit Reporting Bureau will bring more positives than negatives particularly in the management of finances, loans and mortgages. It does not mean that a wrong score, or that information will be leaked out, or that consumers will be turned down for loans; since lending institutions will have to guarantee the integrity of the information and lending institutions will evaluate customers for loans not only on credit scores, but also on the relationship formed over the years.