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IFC Promotes a Stronger Infrastructure for Financial Information in Morocco


In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +1 (202) 473-2258

Fax:     +1(202) 974-4384

Email:
cshanahan@ifc.org

In Rabat:

Mehdi Cherkaoui

Phone: + 01 (212) 37 652-479

Fax:     + 01 (213) 37 652-893
Email:
mcherkaoui@ifc.org


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 smaller businesses.


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 sector.”


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.