Credit Reference Bureau starts operations in RwandaThe first credit reference bureau in the country was officially launched last week. Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Africa, which was cleared by the National Bank (BNR) in February to start its operations, will work together with banks to gather information on loans and borrowers, in order to allow financial institutions to be better informed about persons or organizations that request credit. Paul Pavlidis, the CEO of CRB Africa in Rwanda, assured bankers that the company will fully collaborate with them for the benefit of both financial institutions and CRB.
“I want to stress that we will not only be recording loan histories, to identify financial defaulters and blacklist those with poor credit payment records. The system will also reward exemplary borrowers who might benefit from more attractive interest rates,” Pavlidis pointed out.
BNR governor Francois Kanimba for his part expressed his satisfaction with this new evolution in financial mechanisms, and said that the establishment of such a financial information center will constitute a significant support to business.
“Developed countries often have several credit bureaus, so for us this is a first step in the right direction that will benefit bankers, business persons, individual borrowers and of course CRB,” Kanimba said.
He also pointed out that the bureau would help tackle one of the big challenges of the Rwandan banking sector, which are non-performing loans. CRB will not only greatly reduce the risk of giving out such loans, but will also save banks time and money which in the past was spent on loan recovery.
Steve Caley, the director general of Fina Bank Rwanda, said that the establishment of such a company makes the financial sector more professional.
“This financial information system is a major improvement, which will have a positive impact on financial services,” Caley said. “Moreover, it will give us information on trends in credit over time, and thus help spot weaknesses and find solutions.”