CIC approves 6 credit bureaus

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Six credit bureaus recently secured approvals to do business here in the Philippines, but full operation will take as much as a year as data collection by the Credit Information Corp. (CIC) is still ongoing.

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“The CIC has taken a tremendous step in the utilization of credit-related data in the Philippines. As of yesterday, we sent out six notices of approvals for credit bureau accreditation in the Philippines,” said Jaime Garchitorena, president and chief executive officer of CIC, told reporters on Monday.

Approved credit bureaus were Philippine-based Credit Information Bureau Inc.; South Africa-based Compuscan; Credit Bureau Singapore; Italy-based CRI; Dubai-based Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East; and US-based TransUnion.

“For the first time in the history of the Philippines, we will have credit bureaus available to the public and to the general business community. Credit bureaus that have world class technologies that will allow them to use credit data better, whether it is for lending or borrowing,” Garchitorena, said.

However, he noted that credit bureau’s operations are premised on the availability of data from CIC, which is expected to be fully compiled by December 2016 or January 2017.

Education drive
Meanwhile, the CIC chief said credit bureaus themselves have to undertake a very long process of educating the public, noting that the state-run agency has already launched an informational roadshow to different parts of the Philippines.

“We go to different cities, we go to rural bankers, cooperative, microfinance institutions, we also talk to MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] to tell them what is in store. What they have to do to prepare to take advantage of these products…. Updating their records so they do not appear as negative when the credit registry of the CIC goes online in December,” he said.

“Starting June we should be able to bring accredited credit bureaus on board to join us in this roadshow so that we are credible when we make our presentation. We will have names, faces and products to present to these people,” he added.

In terms of pricing, Garchitorena said the credit bureaus will have to pay CIC P55 for every basic credit report on an individual they extract from the agency.

“Now, what they do is they put their value added services on top of that and of course, charge a fee for that,” he said.

“Initially we’re trying to make sure that the price is very reasonable in terms of what it will cost the average person to get a credit report. We have been suggesting somewhere around the neighborhood of P120 to P150,” he added.

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