PRESS RELEASE: Know your credit score to make better informed financial decisions

PRESS RELEASE

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 22, 2018

– all lending agencies are mandated by law to share all credit data with the credit bureau

– “a lender cannot pull your credit report without your consent”

– know your credit score – it prevents over-indebtedness and encourages responsible borrowing and brings stability to the financial sector

– credit bureau was established in 2013 and operates under the Credit Report Act of 2010 and the Credit Reporting [Amendment] Act of 2016

Chief Executive Officer of Creditinfo, Judy Semple-Joseph says the credit bureau, popularly known as Creditinfo (Guyana) Incorporated, is here to help citizens make informed financial decisions rather than to work against anyone. Semple-Joseph yesterday made this declaration during the Guyana Press Association’s Lunchtime Lecture at Moray House, Georgetown.

The CEO said that many people are not aware of the works of Creditinfo and would find themselves blaming the credit agency for them being denied a loan.

She reminded that all lending agencies are mandated by law to share all credit data with the credit bureau. Semple-Joseph emphasised that whatever information Creditinfo has on an individual is based on their financial behaviour over a period of time.

However, the CEO stressed that “a lender cannot pull your credit report without your consent and this is one of the key things we want to assure persons of. Yes, your information is in the database, but we would not know you unless you present your I.D. and give that lender permission, they cannot pull your credit report.”

Nevertheless, she stated that “you must have good quality data, and this has been an issue in our case. I think the advantage that we would have brought to this market in terms of data is that while there was information, it was not set up in a way that would have allowed for better decision-making and if we can commend ourselves on one thing, is that we would have been able to support our lenders in improving the quality of data that they have. Data is key, data is critical, data is like the cash flow of our institution.”

According to Semple-Joseph, credit reports on the history of an individual’s credit is accessible once requested and since the first credit report is free within a 12 month period “there is no excuse for individuals to not come and get their credit report… We need to underscore that fact that we need to pay attention, things are happening.”

Some of the advantages of knowing your credit score, according to the CEO, are having faster and broader access to credit, it prevents over-indebtedness and encourages responsible borrowing and brings stability to the financial sector.

The credit bureau was established in 2013 and operates under the Credit Report Act of 2010 and the Credit Reporting [Amendment] Act of 2016. It is an independent organisation that collects, stores and organises credit information about consumers and businesses.

Information is sourced and collected from lenders such as banks, credit unions and microfinance organisations, as well as providers of various alternative types of credit such as hire purchase companies, telecommunication companies and utility companies such as Guyana Water Inc. and Guyana Power and Light Company.

Isaiah Braithwaite.

Guyana – Successes driven by One Creditinfo at Work

Creditinfo from data provider to trusted industry leaders; a case study from Guyana

Ben Riley, Global Consultant Creditinfo and David Falconer, Sales Manager Creditinfo Guyana

 

In many ways the country of Guyana is unique. Considered part of the Caribbean region even though it is on the South American mainland. The only English speaking country in South America more interested in cricket than football. On the lowest population density countries on earth (just behind Iceland) but with 30% of that population residing in the capital city of Georgetown. However in the area of Credit, Guyana is proving again that a Creditinfo Credit Bureau can by the driving force behind market development and the opening up of affordable credit to all.

Indeed since the establishment of Creditinfo Guyana in 2013 the business and industry has changed almost beyond recognition. From a market environment where is was so challenging that it required the passing of legislation to legally mandate the use of credit reporting products in the financial sector, to the present day environment marked by an open, forward looking mind-set in which Creditinfo’s core portfolio and value-added products are a perfect fit for the needs of various industry sectors.

We are delighted to announce that in October 2018 Creditinfo Guyana was able to close multiple sales deals for 3 of Creditinfo’s value added products; Monitoring, Benchmarking and IFRS.

Creditinfo’s access to market data and demonstrated expertise drove the development of highly predictive ECL (Expected Credit Loss) models for IFRS-9 reporting and compliance, which has been bought by a selection of both large and small lenders. Indeed some of the larger banks who initially thought themselves quite capable of developing their own internal models are now turning to Creditinfo for assistance as they recognise that our IFRS models are the most accurate available.

Our Benchmarking Reports which capture market specific data on a variety of performance metrics has captivated most of the mainstream lenders in the financial sector and has already been sold to a few who lost no time in adding this formidable asset to their toolkit for gaining competitive advantage in this, small but fiercely contested market.

Our Monitoring Solution has recorded significant buy-in and sale in the financial sector and is expected to drive a more profitable hands-on approach to the management of individual loan portfolios. Simply by showing potential clients actual monitoring results we have found the sales process almost becomes easy.

These successes, which will deliver steady annual recurring revenues from the value-added products themselves, have the additional benefit of delivering significantly increased revenues from the use core Credit Bureau Reports as they help drive credit in the market. A double win if you like for Creditinfo. It is important to note that these sales are not driven by mandatory legal requirements but rather by the actual choices and preference of our subscribers responding to our sales efforts. We have driven market change in Guyana and are particularly proud of this.

Most importantly though is the extent to which Creditinfo is now interwoven in the very fabric of the Guyanese credit market itself. We have evolved from being a mere data collector and aggregator who is simply a vendor of legal mandated data driven credit reports. Creditinfo Guyana is now viewed as an active partner for Credit providers. Creditinfo’s expertise, experience, knowledge and unrivalled access to market data can positively affect the daily operations and profitability of our clients. Indeed we can positively impact the entire market through our introduction of innovative, realistic and modern solutions. Creditinfo Guyana is become the respected authority in Credit whom the banks and other providers turn to for assistance.

Internally we wish to share what we believe was a very significant factor that has brought about this positive change for Creditinfo Guyana; “One Creditinfo”.

The new, increased thrust of full support in product trainings, personal site visits, and not least of all the open-door attitude which has unlocked access to some of the more experienced thinkers and planners in the group has helped transform the efforts and the approach of the local office. The direct result – hard won as it were by logging endless hours, days, weeks and months of tireless sales presentations, marketing initiatives, public relations outreaches and some really innovative out-of-the-box thinking has been rewarded by sales in not one but three different value-added product categories.

As an international company, Creditinfo has first-hand experience in many different kinds of markets, each no doubt at different levels of development. By deploying the full strength of “one Creditinfo” we can play a leading role in the development of all our markets and position Creditinfo as the trusted authority in Credit Risk.

Each and every one of Creditinfo’s markets is unique in its own way. However Guyana has shown that by working together as One Creditinfo we can drive the development of the credit industry and position ourselves as trusted partners in the industry. This not only drives financial performance for Creditinfo but improves our strategic position greatly. Guyana has proven that this is possible; let us replicate this in all our markets.

 

Mr Lawrence Williams, Governor of the Bank of Guyana

It is with deep regret that we at Creditinfo (Guyana) Inc. have learnt of the passing of the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Mr. Lawrence Williams.

Mr. Kristinn Agnarsson, Senior Business Development Manager, Creditinfo Group (centre) receiving the license to operate Creditinfo (Guyana) Inc. from Bank Of Guyana Governor, Mr. Lawrence Williams  (left) on August 29, 2013 in the presence of Hon. Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh (right).

While we knew that he was not well for a while, his death has evoked feelings of shock and deep sadness – particularly since he recently presided over the granting of the license to Creditinfo for the establishment of Guyana’s First Credit Bureau and even more recently at the launch of our SeeRisk International Business Report. Continue reading »

Bank of Guyana support Creditinfo Guyana newly launched SeeRisk International Business Report

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Mr. Lawrence Williams, Governor of the Bank of Guyana

On Thursday, March 28, 2014, Creditinfo Guyana formally introduced to Guyana, and the business sector in particular, two new value added products to its existing line of credit reports, where advantage of global opportunities can be taken with greater confidence.

Speaking at the launch, Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Mr. Lawrence Williams (pictured) reiterated the Bank’s support for Creditinfo Guyana and encouraged business entities to utilize the SeeRisk Report which would “provide adequately for informed decision-making, enhance compliance with the AML/CFT* Act, and consequently lend to improved performance and increased assets of the various users”.

He opined that “the undertaking to launch the value added product – SeeRisk Report – to its mainstream business is highly commendable, and moreover shows that Creditinfo is  committed to assisting in strengthening the financial sector, making Guyana attractive to foreign investments and providing meaningful information and data for individuals and companies to safely conduct business transactions with their counterparts in other countries.

The SeeRisk International Business Report offers a powerful decision making mechanism for the facilitation of international business transactions through the provision of financial and credit related information.

It is a comprehensive report that allows for vital and necessary insights to be gained before an entity commences trade with a foreign company or individual.  It helps to effectively countermand the deceptive effects provided merely by an attractive website and offers safeguards against the ease with which a company that exists only in cyberspace can steal away the investment capital of hardworking businessmen.

Access to accurate global business information on demand allows for more informed decisions on offering credit or engaging in any business transaction whether locally or internationally originated.

Continue reading »

Creditinfo Academy in Guyana – working together to improve risk management in the new era of credit bureau

The training was attended by 23 senior representatives from the banking, credit union, retail lending and telco sector.  The goal was to enable participants to gain a better understanding and ability to improve risk management in the new era of credit bureau. Throughout the numerous workshop sessions conducted, the training was interactive, including hands on computer experience extracting credit reports from the Creditinfo Guyana system.

In the first session, attendees learnt that the impact of a credit bureau is  frequently underestimated and the time to act is now, if the lenders do not want to lose out competitively. Naturally, given the government has made a huge investment in changing the law, it is imperative for banks and other lenders to act now to do their part to provide data and change their processes to integrate credit bureau into their processes.

Attendees were shown case studies of the impact in other countries across the world where access to finance had grown considerably and especially for SMEs who are often seen as a motor for growth.  Furthermore, banks have more efficient procedures and control on bad debts which leads to a more stable banking environment.

In the second session, attendees were given a real insight of how they can use credit reports to change the decisions of every loan application.  Individuals and business applicants will be judged objectively on the real evidence of their historical payments removing much of the subjective element.  Working in teams, the attendees were able to discuss the practical issues while on-line to Creditinfo Guyana’s system and credit reports.  Together they shared experiences with their peers from different institutions.  Continue reading »

Creditinfo Guyana provides service to prevent identity theft

Olive-GopaulIt was only a few weeks ago that a warrant was issued for the arrest of a 47-year-old woman who, posing as one of Guyana’s local beauty queens, Olive Gopaul, was able to fraudulently obtain money from several prominent business entities.

But members of Guyana’s only credit bureau—Creditinfo, are contending that such an unfortunate situation could have been prevented in just one minute.

Read more here: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2014/02/09/creditinfo-provides-service-to-prevent-identity-theft-within-seconds/

Creditinfo Guyana on tv

Judy Semple-Joseph, CEO Creditinfo Guyana interviewed by Capitol News.

Click on the link below to see an interview by Capitol News regarding the launch of Creditinfo Guyana in December 2013.

http://www.capitolnewsonline.com/2013/09/26/credit-bureau-soon-to-open/