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Credit Bureau to rate debtors, share info with banks

INSIDE HERE: Central Bank Governor Lawrence Wiilliams will grant CreditInfo (Guyana) Inc. a license to operate Guyana’s Credit Bureau.

Borrowers with bad credit scores will soon find it harder to borrow more or obtain additional credit when the local credit bureau begins operations after receiving its license next week.

Governor of the Bank of Guyana Lawrence Williams is expected to sign the license for CreditInfo (Guyana) Inc. to operate a credit bureau here, according to sources. The license is scheduled to be handed over to the group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Iceland-headquartered CreditInfo next week.

The company’s website names Guyanese Attorney-at-Law, Gino Persaud as its local CEO. However, Bank of Guyana sources say Persaud-the Immediate Past President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc. (TIGI)-will not be the CEO and the person tipped is a female.

The Bank of Guyana official said that after the license is issued, a notice will be published in the Official Gazette stating that CreditInfo (Guyana) Inc. will be the local credit bureau. The entity will be responsible for sharing information among lending institutions about a person or institution’s creditworthiness before accessing new or additional loans or credits.

CreditInfo also operates a bureau in Jamaica. No Guyanese companies had applied to establish such a clearing house, according to the sources.

President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Clinton Urling welcomed the establishment of the local credit bureau, saying it would fast-track applications and lower the chances of bad debt.

“It helps to speed up the analysis of credit applications to financial institutions and reduces the risk involved for those institutions,” he said. With that, he expects that there will be lower interest rates.

Urling expects that the bureau will benefit borrowers because they good debt-servicers will be rewarded with favourable ratings which they can use to make future credit applications.

While the GCCI President was not immediately clear whether major hire purchase stores will be captured by CreditInfo (Guyana), he pointed out that those entities do have a vast database of buyers with favourable credit histories

“This information should be captured by the Credit Bureau and go into its database so as to have a readily available source of credit data that would not otherwise be available if those persons had never sought a commercial bank loan or mortgage,” he added.

Guyana passed credit bureau legislation into law in June 2010 after the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank assisted in drafting it.