Bankers’ Association approves of credit bureau for the region

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The Antigua & Barbuda Bankers’ Association is supporting a move by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to introduce a credit bureau in the region, deeming it “something that is desperately needed” in the loan financing sector.President of the association Michael Spencer told those attending the Antigua & Barbuda Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Forum, Thursday, that the present due diligence which banks conduct before granting a loan is far too “time consuming and tedious”.“In the developed market they have what is called a credit score or other such system. We don’t have that here, and we are very much manual in this part of the world in assessing credit. We have to conduct diligence across the sector,” he said.Spencer argued that a credit bureau which provides institutions with information on the credit worthiness of an individual would “help with the speed and efficiency of the process” and would produce more accurate information about applicants.“There are different formats that can be used. It could be a credit score or the bureau could simply provide general information on the customers’…financial health. What you want to make sure is that you’re covering a client’s total position regardless of whether they have facilities at one bank or another,” Spencer said.In response, the featured speaker at the forum – Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine – assured that a Credit Reporting Bill was “going to the Monetary Council on March 2” and had been in circulation since 2016.

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