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Lenders set to share data on good borrowers

February 24, 2014

GEORGE NGIGI -1



Commercial and microfinance banks will start sharing information about their good borrowers from Friday, enabling them to bargain for cheaper credit.

The Central Bank of Kenya has given the lenders up to March 10 to have submitted positive information of their customers to the credit reference bureaus which borrowers can use to bargain for better lending terms.

"The information should be submitted not later than March 10,2014 and there after incremental data shall be submitted on a monthly basis on or before the 10th day of each succeeding month," said Central Bank in a memo signed by the assistant director of bank supervision, Matu Mugo, on February 18.

Banks have been sharing information about defaulters only due to a lack of legal framework which was reviewed last month to allow for positive information sharing.

There are two licensed credit bureaus in the country, Metropol and TransUnion. Metropol chief executive, Sam Omukoko, said the industry was ready to meet the deadlines as they had carried out a five month piloting between April and August last year.

"CBK also did a stress test to see if the bureaus had the capacity to handle both positive and negative information," said Mr Omukoko.

The new guidelines allow the bureaus to have agents in other parts of the country making it easier for the public to know their rating by the bureaus.

READ: Good borrowers to gain from positive information sharing

Full credit information enables banks to rate an individual and price his/her risk premium as it also shows current loans being paid by a borrower.

Credit score ranges between 100 and 900 with a score of between 100 and 400 indicating that the individual has defaulted in a payment in their past.

A score of 401 to 600 indicates one has not defaulted but their level of debt to income is considered high, and is considered fair.

A score of 700 to 800 is considered good while above 800 is excellent, and indicates prompt payments and long credit history. A person who has no credit record is not awarded a credit score.


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Source: Business Daily (Kenya)


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