Rabat, Morocco, May 20, 2005— The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, joined
the Central Bank of Morocco in holding a conference today in Rabat,
“Best Practices in Credit Reporting and
Financial Information Infrastructure.”
The conference is the third in a series that aims to share best practices,
international experiences, and tools for providing credit to small and
medium enterprises, thereby stimulating much-needed growth in Morocco’s
Information sharing between Moroccan credit institutions, especially commercial
banks, remains limited, despite a number of initiatives by both the private
and public sector to improve the infrastructure for credit information.
As a result, the local banking sector remains risk averse and reluctant
to extend credit, particularly to small and medium enterprises.
Establishing a solid infrastructure for financial information, with a state-of-the-art
credit bureau, would facilitate credit underwriting and risk management
in Morocco. It would also have a direct impact on banks’ profitability
and their willingness to accept risk and extend credit. IFC has already
played a key role in advising Moroccan institutions on how to set up a
best practice registry for financial statements.
The conference brought together 150 professionals, including international
credit reporting professionals, managers of credit institutions, senior
government officials, representatives of donors, and other major stakeholders,
as well as IFC experts.
Representatives from the Central Bank and from banking and consumer credit
associations discussed the existing mechanisms for information sharing
and projects currently underway in Morocco. The conference also showcased
international and regional experiences of cooperation between credit institutions
and credit bureaus.
“Improving financial transparency and information sharing is imperative
for financial institutions to market lending products safely and profitably,”
said Sami Haddad, IFC’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“By encouraging the development of a strong infrastructure for financial
information, IFC is helping increase access to finance for the private
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.