Creditinfo signs six institutions
THE country moved a step closer to getting its first credit bureau on Monday when six financial institutions signed up with Creditinfo Jamaica.
The six companies will provide data on their borrowers and will also be able to draw on the experience of the others when deciding whether to lend.
The result should be quicker and cheaper loans for those who qualify, with fewer defaults by those who do not.
It should make it easier for people with good credit histories to get unsecured loans and, by making the market more efficient and transparent, promote economic growth.
Banks currently face a default rate of 8.9 per cent, which drives up the costs for other borrowers. Micro-lenders typically have lower default levels.
Once they get the credit scores prepared by the bureau, lenders will still have to decide what level of risk they want to shoulder.
Creditinfo expects to open its doors for business in October. In the meantime it will be uploading data and ensuring that its computer systems are efficient and secure, said Megan Deane, the company's chief executive officer.
The regulator, the Bank of Jamaica, is overseeing the project under the Credit Reporting Act 2010.
The idea of setting up credit bureaus in Jamaica was first floated a decade ago.
The six organisations signing up to Creditinfo at the ceremony at the Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, were Access Financial Services Limited, Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited, Development Bank of Jamaica Limited, Fast Cash Finance Limited, Niche Financing Limited and the Student's Loan Bureau.