DAWN Saturday, July 15, 2006, Pact inked for credit bureau services

Islamabad, July 14: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with DataCheck (Pvt) Limited to assist it in developing credit bureau services, including credit scoring, application processing, fraud prevention services and asset databases.

These new developments are intended to build on DataCheck’s existing credit information services in order to provide local lending institutions with the latest tools to manage credit risk.

The IFC will provide advisory services to DataCheck through its technical assistance facility, the Private Enterprises Partnership for Middle and North Africa (PEP – MENA).

Peer Stein, Head of IFC’s Global Credit Bureau Programme, welcomed the agreement in his address to the local banking community: “As the retail credit industry in Pakistan expands, it is vitally important that lenders have access to and rely on proven techniques for managing credit risk. These services will allow lenders to make better judgments about the creditworthiness of individuals and small businesses, thus minimizing the risk of nonperforming loans and at the same time, preventing customers from becoming over-indebted”.

Michael Essex, Regional Director for Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, highlighted the importance of bureaus for the country, “In recent years there has been unprecedented growth in both the demand and supply of consumer credit products in Pakistan and it is, therefore, essential that the market has timely and accurate information to help it make more informed consumer credit decisions and adopt proven lending practices. This will help avoid the problem of consumer over-commitment which other emerging economies in Asia have experienced”.

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