Creditinfo’s Breakfast Seminar in Guyana

On Friday, April 27, 2018, Creditinfo Guyana hosted, current and potential subscribers from a broad range of utility, financial and other commercial entities, at a Breakfast Seminar in Georgetown to coincide with the visit of the Group CEO, Executive Director and Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.  In attendance were representatives from 23 institutions.

In delivering the keynote address, Minister of Business, Hon. Dominic Gaskin, underscored the value of the role played by Creditinfo Guyana in the area of credit risk management while highlighting the fact that the Amendment to the Credit Reporting Act in 2016 brought viability to the Credit Reporting Industry in Guyana.

The Minister, whose portfolio encompasses the Small Business Bureau, indicated that the government of Guyana takes very seriously the issue of access to affordable credit for businesses and therefore expects to see the reduction of interest rates over time as high rates tend to discourage local investors.

Executive Director, Mr. Paul Randall, in his presentation shared insights on the work currently being undertaken to develop a fully localized and more predictive scorecard for Guyana. Our aim is to make credit decisions more objective through the use of credit bureau data. His presentation also highlighted the value of utility data towards improving access to credit for the unbanked.

Group CEO, Mr. Stefano Stoppani, in his address to the gathering noted that a credit bureau is not there to help banks prevent bad loans, it is there to help banks provide loans to those who deserve financing. He emphasized the benefits of having a good credit reporting infrastructure, particularly since the credit bureau agenda helps to promote financial inclusion.

The impact of a good, robust credit bureau has been demonstrated throughout Creditinfo affiliates with the primary indicators being increased percentage of the population getting credit as well as a reduction in defaults – especially in Jamaica. Overall, this positive impact has resulted in significant improvements in countries’ ranking on the World Bank Doing Business Index, particilarly in the area of getting credit. For example, in the case of Guyana, in 2013 when the credit bureau was launched, the score for getting credit was 167 and in 2017, Guyana’ s score for getting credit was 82.  A dramatic improvement undoubtedly attributed to Creditinfo’s impact!

To more effectively facilitate the credit bureau agenda and the thrust towards financial inclusion, automated, integrated decision making is necessary. In addition, lenders must be supported in making better decisions across the credit life cycle. It was underscored that data quality is also critical for effective decision making. The Creditinfo Group CEO reiterated the importance of our entity to the economy of Guyana indicating that if we were to shut down the credit bureau for a couple of days, the economy would collapse.

One of the key highlights of the team’s visit was courtesy call on the Hon. Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance to formally introduce the new Group CEO and to bring the Minister up to date with recent developments within the company and its thrust towards promoting its mandate as an information and decision solutions company that helps lenders and businesses make better informed decision throughout the entire credit life cycle for individuals and companies. The Minister seized the opportunity to advise of the recent proposals for advancement of the financial sector through improvements in the legislative framework – making specific reference to the recent tabling in parliament of a number of bills including those related to improvements in payment systems.