…surge in the use of credit bureau services, notwithstanding
Although uptake of credit referencing activities in 2017 increased significantly compared to previous years, data available however indicate that most financial institutions were not consistent with data submission, a Bank of Ghana (BoG) credit referencing activity annual report has shown.
Financial institutions are required to submit data on a monthly basis to credit bureaus on the status of customers’ credit obligations, in accordance with Section 24 of the Credit Reporting Act, 2007 (ACT 726).
However, the report notes a number of variations especially with individual loan records submitted by universal banks. These variations resulted in disputes as some records remain not updated in the database of the credit bureaus.
The Credit Reporting Act, 2007 (ACT 726) mandates credit providers to conduct credit searches on all prospective borrowers prior to granting or refusing a loan application.
This is to ensure that bad borrowers, who before, would secure credit facilities would easily be identified and in addition prevent over indebtedness.
A total of 2,222,311 enquiries were made by financial institutions in the year 2017. This represents a 34 percent increase from the 2016 position of 1,662,740 enquiries.
The increase was an improvement over the 17 percent decline in 2016 from the 2015 position.
The increased number of participating institutions and continuous sensitization of financial institutions also contributed to the increase in usage in the year 2017.
Data submission improved significantly in the year under review. Individual loan records submitted to credit bureaus increased by 17 percent on an average monthly basis.
Data submitted on commercial loan customers also increased by 42 percent on an average monthly basis.
The Universal banks submitted the most number of data to credit bureaus with an average of 751,501 individual and 37,332 commercial records submitted on a monthly basis.
The NBFIs submitted 742,657 and 25,771 individual and commercial loan records respectively on a monthly basis recording the second highest in terms of data submissions.
The year also recorded increase in data submissions in the Rural and Community Banks (RCB) and Microfinance Institutions (MFI) subsectors with over 100 percent increase in both individual and commercial loan records submitted to credit bureaus.
Currently, there are three licensed credit bureaus, namely, XDS Data Limited, Hudson Price Data Solutions Limited and Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Limited.
By Joshua W. Amlanu