Law changed in Guyana to make credit reporting more effective

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Minister of Finance Winston Jordan

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday January 15, 2016 – In a move to give financial institutions better access to information contained in financial transactions, the National Assembly has passed a more enabling legal framework, to allow for mandatory participation, with regards to the delivery of credit reporting services.

The Credit Reporting (Amendment) Bill 2015 which was given the full nod by the National Assembly yesterday, is expected to strengthen and ensure the Credit Bureau functions effectively.

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, who brought the bill to the House, noted that there has been no impact nor benefit to the lenders, borrowers and economy as a whole, since the passage of the original bill and the subsequent establishment of the Credit Bureau.

The Credit Reporting Act of 2010 governed the operations of the Credit Bureau in Guyana. It designated individuals and businesses as potential data subjects, which means that the bureau can maintain credit records of these entities in its database, which in turn will form the basis on which these subjects can prove their creditworthiness.

But Jordan said that two years after its establishment, the bureau was having no impact on its intended beneficiaries because the legal framework to support the delivery of credit reporting services in Guyana was never put in place and credit reporting was not mandatory.

The amendment, he noted, corrects that by mandating borrowers and lenders’ participation in the Credit Bureau’s operation.

With the amendments, credit information providers are now required to submit a request to the Credit Bureau with the view of obtaining credit information. They are also now authorized to upload credit information to a licensed credit bureau without the consent of consumers.

Minister Jordan said credit bureaus are essential elements of accounting financial infrastructure in any country, and an effective and efficient credit bureau would allow for broad access to credit, and support responsible lending.

Former president Bharrat Jagdeo and other Opposition parliamentarians Irfaan Ali and Joseph Hamilton urged government to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure is in place.

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