The Credit Reference Bureau in Mali (BIC) is now a reality

ARTICLE written by Youssouf Camara from L’INDEPENDANT n°826 on 10-Sept-15

 English Translation

The Credit Reference Bureau in Mali (BIC) initiated by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and whose law was passed three months ago in our country is now a reality. The contracts related to this project which aims at centralizing the information on clients and helping with decision-making while granting credits, were signed on Wednesday, September 9th 2015, in the BNDA conference room. The signing ceremony involved the Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (APBEF) represented by its Vice President, Mr. Sekou Barry (DG BCIM Mali) and the BIC of WAMU area, Creditinfo VoLo, represented by its Director General, Mr. Adamou Sambaré. This ceremony was presided over by BCEAO National Director, Mr. Konzo Traoré and many leaders of the banking and financial sector from the 25 reporting institutions.

As part of the credit sector consolidation within banks, financial institutions and microfinance institutions, BCEAO decided to set up a Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) in the WAMU area. Mali is one of the first countries to adopt this law. The BIC is a private credit reporting system. Its mission is to provide users some information on credit, including support services for decision-making when granting credit, credit reports, scoring services, marketing information services and others for the detection of credit risk. The activities of the CRB are authorized under the Uniform Act on the regulation of CRB in the WAMU Member States.

The credit information sharing system is able to process both positive information (information on the outstanding loans per recipient, sectoral distribution of credits etc.) and negative information (amount of defaults, written off credits, number of defaults, credits rescheduling…) collected from the institutions supervised by BCEAO involved in the BIC and from their future non-banks (MFIs other than those supervised by BCEAO), telecommunications companies, retailers, companies supplying electricity and water, other great billers…).

In addition to the 14 local banks (BOA-Mali, Banque Atlantique Mali, BDM-SA, BHM-SA, BICIM, BIM-SA, BMS-SA, BNDA, BCIM, BSIC-Mali, CBI-Mali, Ecobank-Mali, Orabank-Mali) the 3 financial institutions (Alios Finance, Mali, FNDS Mortgage Guarantee, Mali Guarantee Fund for Private Sector) there were 8 Decentralized Financial Systems which are: Piyeli Association, Soro Yiriwaso, Microcred SA-Mali, RMCR, CAECE Jigiseme, Kafo Jiginew, Kondo and Jigima Nyesigiso.

The National Director of BCEAO, Mr. Konzo Traoré, said that the actual presence of all reporting institutions demonstrates the interest which the banking sector has for the implementation of the CRB. “We are well aware of the expectations raised. The teams, who work intensely since ten months on the development of technical mechanisms and the training of the financial institutions’ staff, are making every effort to start operations in the coming weeks. “

As for the Director General of Creditinfo Volo, he stressed that “the implementation of a CRB is a long term project and which requires structural changes in organizations and

practices. However, we also know that for credit institutions, businesses and consumers, CRB means better risk control and, therefore, more favorable conditions for clients. “

On the same note, the vice president of APBEF, Mr. Sekou M.Barry declared that the BIC was timely in response to a need for better risk assessment. Therefore, it is a profitable project for banks that will have all information on customers before granting credit and for the Malian economy. “The BIC will enable microfinance institutions to improve the rate of reimbursement of their customers and better appreciate their debt condition when granting credit and, therefore, prevent the client from over indebtedness” said Adama Camara, the president of the Professional Association of Decentralized Financial Systems (APSFD).

Copy of original printed article in French:  Lindependant – Article in edition no. 826 – Youssouf Camara – 10 Sept 2015