CRIF selected to develop a credit bureau platform in Uzbekistan
CRIF announced that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Credit Information and Analytical Center (CIAC) to develop a credit bureau in Uzbekistan.
This initiative is part of the Financial Infrastructure Project in Uzbekistan implemented within the framework of the World Bank Group–IFC Finance & Markets Global Practice. Under the agreement, CRIF owns 35% of the share capital of the private-public partnership company.
After two years of international bidding and negotiation, CIAC selected CRIF, under the auspices of the World Bank, as its technological partner in light of its proven record of accomplishment in delivering similar solutions in Europe and credit bureau services for banks and financial institutions in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Uzbekistan, which is a member of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, is a country striving for inclusive economic growth. Thanks to its strategic location, which gives it a vital role as a land bridge between Europe and the Middle East, and to recent institutional reforms, Uzbekistan has the right conditions to enhance economic and financial resilience, create markets, foster private sector participation, and improve the business climate. In 2018, Uzbekistan's GDP is expected to grow by 5.5%, and 5.6% in 2019 (Asian Development Bank Report).
“The signing of these landmark agreements between Uzbekistan’s credit bureau and CRIF are particularly important and timely, as Uzbekistan is currently undergoing unprecedented reforms in all areas of the economy. The new partnership will mark a new milestone in the development of the credit information sharing system in the country, and bring in modern technological solutions and global expertise that will benefit our financial sector”, said Bakhtiyar Khamidov, General Director of the Uzbekistan Banking Association.
“CRIF is very proud to be taking part in the process that will enable Uzbekistan to improve the development of its lending market. The synergy between CRIF and CIAC will make it possible to establish a top class credit bureau in the country, contributing to the improvement of the retail market, supporting SMEs and individuals in accessing credit”, commented Carlo Gherardi, CRIF President.
“CRIF is committed to transferring technology, knowledge and experience to CIAC as well as providing efficient services to improve the credit assessment process in the country”, explained Davide Michele Meo, CRIF Sales and Direct Markets Director. “The partnership between CRIF and CIAC aims to facilitate the introduction of state-of-the-art services to analyse credit risks. Our main goal is to create a consistent and common action plan to involve the vast majority of Uzbek banks and financial institutions as contributors to the local credit bureau and to simplify access to credit both for consumers and companies”.
The establishment of the credit bureau and increased information sharing will facilitate access to credit for businesses and consumers by improving the lending process and reducing default rates and the risk of indebtedness, as well as promoting responsible decision-making and fair lending practices.
Specifically, Uzbek lenders will be able to make faster and more accurate decisions based on a detailed credit profile of borrowers and improve their risk management. In addition, the availability of a full credit history will give Uzbek consumers and businesses easier access to credit, allowing them to obtain credit quickly and easily, and with more favourable conditions.
The development of the full-fledged credit bureau will positively impact on the country by facilitating access to credit, especially for the younger segments of the population and new entrepreneurs who do not have collateral and a sufficiently complete credit history. Moreover, the credit bureau will play a crucial role in promoting a more mature credit culture in the country’s financial system and in the further development of private businesses in Uzbekistan.
As stated by the World Bank, and as CRIF has already experienced in many other countries, the evolution of the financial sector depends heavily on the availability of effective information systems, which streamline credit risk management and consequently support the financial needs of businesses and consumers.