Kingston, Jamaica, May 23, 2013
Jamaican credit bureau gets go-ahead
CRIF NM Credit Assure Ltd., a joint venture between CRIF and Neal & Massy, a licensed credit reporting agency as supervised by the Bank of Jamaica, has now satisfactorily met the conditions stipulated in the license issued by the Minister of Finance under the Credit Reporting Act 2010 (CRA) on April 10, 2012.
This approval from the BOJ is what the CRIF NM Credit Bureau has been working towards for the past 12 months, since it was officially granted its license back in April of 2012.
As part of the license conditions, The BOJ had mandated a very stringent list of conditions that needed to be completed within the subsequent 12 months, prior to us being able to actually produce a credit report.
The conditions included such things as, ensuring the highest level of data protection and data privacy protocols being utilized, the use of World class standards for physical access controls being implemented, continuous up-time and business continuity plans being in place, as well as a public awareness campaign and Consumer consent provisions enabling accessibility to individual credit information, just to name a few of the requirements.
“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment, and that a lot of hard work has been contributed toward meeting this milestone. We now look forward to being able to start providing credit reports to both financial institutions and consumers within the next 60 days”, said Terrence Cooper, CRIF NM’s CEO (Designate).
Mr. Cooper believes the establishment of the CRIF NM Credit Bureau will empower business and consumers to better assess credit risk and lending/ borrowing practices, which will contribute to sustainable economic growth for the entire country. He goes on to say “We are here to facilitate a service that will provide access to credit for more Jamaicans, in particular SME’s who play a vital role in the county’s long term development.”
CRIF NM reaffirmed its commitment to the financial community by sponsoring the recent JCCUL AGM held last weekend in Montego Bay, where Mr. Cooper was a sponsor speaker. He provided the audience with an overview of the products and services CRIF NM plans on brining to the marketplace, and noted that one of CRIF NM’s objectives will be to be form strategic partnerships in communities across the Country to not only assist Financial Institutions to better assess and manage risk, which will result in more access to credit for more Jamaicans, but also to educate and bring awareness to the general public about how to manage and maintain good credit, as well as how to increase your credit score and get better interest rates on loans.
In particular, Credit reporting systems are a key element of a country’s financial infrastructure, and are essential to facilitating access to financial services. As a third party, they support the fair extension of credit in an economy as the foundation for robust and competitive credit markets. In fact, the role of a positive and negative credit bureau in the credit application process is, therefore, to make the relationship between the financial institution and the credit applicant transparent. In other words, the role of the credit reporting system is to completely and impartially facilitate the fair allocation of credit: the availability of a credit history allows individuals to qualify for and obtain credit from credit institutions more quickly and easily, and with more favorable conditions.