CIC mandates three new credit bureaus for information system

Posted on July 26, 2016

THE CREDIT Information Corp. (CIC) has granted full accreditation to three credit bureaus to offer rating services using information from a national registry that is expected to come online by yearend.

In a Subscription Agreement signed yesterday, the CIC formally accredited local firm Credit Information Bureau, Inc., as its special accessing entities (SAEs) along with CRIF Philippines (of Italy’s CRIF S.p.A.), Compuscan Philippines (of South Africa’s Compuscan), bringing the number of accredited bureaus to four.
CIC President and CEO Jaime Casto Jose P. Garchitorena said six credit bureaus were provisionally accredited as SAEs by the CIC, meaning these firms have the qualifications of SAEs, but have not yet completed the requirements of accreditation as per SEC Memorandum Circular No. 7, Series of 2015.

United State’s TransUnion Information Solutions, Inc. was the first to execute the subscription agreement with the CIC last May 5.

Meanwhile, state-controlled CIC is also awaiting to formally accredit “by end of August or sometime in September.” Credit Bureau Singapore and Dubai’s Dun & Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd. to become SAEs for the envisioned national credit information system.

Republic Act No. 9510 or the Credit Information System Act provides for the establishment of a comprehensive and centralized credit information system. It requires banks, life insurance companies, credit card companies and other entities providing credit facilities to regularly submit basic credit data to the CIC.

“Accreditation of this new set of SAEs is our offer that the CIC has a viable business model, that there is a need for credit information and other value added services in the financial sector and that the CIC is now set to move forward with our objectives and partnerships to reinforce its virtues of making credit easily available to the public through the alliance if both credit registry and bureau,” Mr. Garchitorena said yesterday.

The CIC chief said the accreditation was done both to assure the quality of services that the SAEs will deliver and to change the public’s perception about borrowing or utilization of credit. The USAID Advancing Philippine Competitiveness project and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) of the World Bank have been supporting the CIC as technical advisors in accrediting the credit bureaus.

“The interest of the international credit bureaus to do business in the Philippines is a good indication of confidence in the positive vision and direction of the CIC and the Philippines’ Credit Information ecosystem,” he added, noting that five of the six SAEs are foreign firms.

The accredited companies will have access to the data and use them to create credit scores, reports and other products, which lending institutions would then use to evaluate the creditworthiness of individuals and businesses.

The SAEs, while having presence in all major cities and economic centers, will also have different specific markets to their products ranging from serving banks to specialized lending in the unbanked market. Through this partnership with the credit bureaus, the CIC expects to have a wider scope in all categories of the mandated submitting entities, Mr. Garchitorena said.

The CIC said it could also consider accrediting two more credit bureaus should there be a “fairly good reason in the next few months” to do so, adding that currently, the six SAEs is seen to have a “fair nationwide coverage.”

Mr. Garchitorena noted that the CIC is still on track to its earlier target to have the system running by early 2017. “The CIC will be operational early 2017. The public may pull his or her own credit report from the CIC for P55.00.”

The CIC under RA 9510 is mandated to receive and consolidate basic credit data; act as a central registry or repository of credit information and provide access to reliable, standardized information on credit history and financial condition of borrowers. – Imee Charlee C. Delavin, BusinessWorld