Dakar, Senegal, September 12, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the Central Bank of West African
States (BCEAO) have signed a partnership agreement for the promotion of
credit bureaus. The credit bureaus will operate in the eight countries
of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and should lead
to a significant increase in the number of bank loans in the region.
Mrs Fatimatou Zahra Diop, BCEAO Secretary
General, stated, “Together with financial actors and with the support
of our technical partners, particularly IFC, the BCEAO is determined to
strengthen and modernize the zone’s financial infrastructure. Our goal
is to remove obstacles to healthy financial intermediation and substantially
increase the funding of the Union’s economies, in accordance with the
guidelines of the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s Heads of
State and Government Conference.”
Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and
Central Africa, said, “With a lack of information about clients’ creditworthiness,
West African banks are hesitant to grant loans. The introduction of regional
credit bureaus should provide thousands of consumers with the possibility
of accessing finance.”
On June 28, 2013 the UEMOA Council of Ministers
approved a law applicable to the eight members that provides a legal framework
for the creation of regional credit information bureaus.
The UEMOA’s eight member countries are Benin,
Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
A credit bureau is a structure that collects and records information on
a borrower’s credit and payment history. This information, once compiled
into credit reports, can be used by financial institutions to optimize
their risk management and granting of credit.
This project, financed in part by the Swiss
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), is part of the IFC Access
to Finance program with the goal to increase the accessibility of formal
financial services for individuals and micro, small and medium enterprises.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we
use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time
high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org