IFC and Arab Monetary Fund Support Development of Private Credit Bureaus in the ...

Apr 2008
Washington D.C., United States, April, 12 2008 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Monetary Fund to help create a vibrant and effective credit bureau industry in the Middle East and North Africa. The event took place during the 2008 World Bank Group and IMF Spring Meetings.

IFC and the Arab Monetary Fund will consolidate efforts to harmonize the region’s credit reporting systems and implement international best practices. Over the next three years, the two organizations will assess credit information infrastructures in the region’s Arab countries to address gaps and challenges facing most of these countries. They will also work to raise awareness of credit reporting and its benefits to local economies. These efforts will help identify strategies and action plans to establish business enabling and regulatory environments for private credit bureaus.

By developing private credit bureaus, this initiative will help increase knowledge sharing on credit reporting between countries; increase the efficiency of financial intermediaries; support the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises; mitigate lending risks; and help central banks supervise financial sectors.

Dr. Jassim Al-Mannai, Director General and Chairman of the Arab Monetary Fund’s Board, said, “Capacity building and sound policies are crucial in establishing economic and financial reforms. We are delighted to cooperate with IFC in this initiative. We are convinced that the assistance to Arab countries will help them comply with Basel II requirements and enhance the central banks’ supervisory powers.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, "Credit bureaus are crucial in allowing individuals and small businesses to have greater access to finance. We look forward to working with the Arab Monetary Fund to create credit bureaus that will have a wide reach and positive impact in the region."

IFC’s regional credit bureau program, launched in 2005, is managed by IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa - PEP-MENA. IFC’s activities include help in developing a legal and regulatory framework and advisory services for starting and expanding credit bureaus, with a focus on strategy, technical partner selection, and outreach and awareness events.

Source : IFC

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