The Bank of Ghana has directed telecommunications companies, financial technology companies, mobile money operators, utility providers, among other organisations to provide information on the credit behaviour of borrowers to curb risk associated with lending.
Other organisations required to also provide information about their clients to the Credit Reporting System (CRS) database include retailers; government institutions that offer credit to MSMEs; institutions that provide identification documents; entities that supply goods and services on a post-paid or instalment basis; Student Loan Schemes provided by private or government agencies; and other entities that have relevant data and information that complies with permissible purposes of credit bureaus.
According to the directive, the move will help promote the sharing of information on the credit history of debtors with lenders and other users of the CRS, given credit information sharing is beneficial to both lenders and borrowers as it helps lenders or creditors better assess the credit risk of each borrower or debtor.
The bank says the new directive will also help to facilitate the delivery and pricing of credit on a differentiated basis; and will further provide credit information on their customers to all Credit Bureaus licensed by the Bank of Ghana within seventy-two (72) hours after entering into a credit agreement or facility. This will ensure credit reports on prospective customers are obtained before concluding credit transactions with such customers.
And again, the regulator says the new directive will afford the above-listed entities the opportunity to obtain information on the credit behaviour of their clients prior to establishing credit relationships, while ensuring that the information they provide to the CRS on their customers’ credit behaviour helps other creditors to make prudent credit decisions.
Since the coming into effect of Act 726 in 2007, the Bank of Ghana has licensed three Credit Bureaus to provide credit reporting services to licensed financial institutions and to the above-listed category of institutions.
The licensed credit bureaus are: XDS Data Ghana Limited; Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Limited and; HudsonPrice Data Solutions Limited.
The Bank of Ghana, hereby, notifies the above-listed institutions to take steps to comply with the provisions of Act 726 by October 31, 2021.