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Canada, IFC, ECCB Support Financial Inclusion with Credit Bureau Workshops in OECS


In Washington, DC:
Vanessa Bauza, IFC
Phone: +1 202-458-1603
E-mail: Vbauza@ifc.org

Basseterre, Saint Kitts, February 2, 2015 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), is collaborating with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), to host a series of half day credit bureau workshops across the Eastern Caribbean, beginning today in Basseterre.  It convenes global experts to share their experiences with representatives from banks, other potential data contributors, and consumer protection bodies for the benefit of Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member territories.

The workshop provides an overview of credit bureaus, their role and benefits, the legal and regulatory frameworks that support credit reporting and protect consumer rights. This is the sixth Caribbean credit reporting event organized by IFC and its central bank counterparts to deepen market awareness of credit reporting systems and identify best practices that can be implemented across the region. As part of the series, additional workshops will be held in Antigua and Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica on February 4th and February 6th.

Credit bureaus are an essential part of the financial infrastructure of any economy. They allow financial institutions and other creditors to share credit information and better manage lending risks, thereby increasing access to finance for underserved individuals and micro, small, and medium businesses.

“In developed markets where lenders share credit information, lending risks are lower and a larger percentage of borrowers have access to financing through formal financial institutions,” said Jun Zhang, IFC Senior Manager for the Caribbean. “In developing markets, a credit reporting system can have a significant impact in laying the foundations for a more inclusive financial system that benefits individuals, entrepreneurs and the economy at large.”  

IFC’s Caribbean Credit Bureau Program, funded by DFATD, plays a vital role in increasing financial inclusion in the region. IFC helped the Bank of Guyana pass credit reporting legislation and regulations and provided guidance in the selection of a competitive vendor for the market. In addition, IFC, along with the World Bank, is supporting The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Haiti, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and Suriname in establishing credit reporting systems in their respective jurisdictions.

About IFC
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 about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About the ECCB
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the monetary authority for the eight ECCB participating governments: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.  The primary objective of the ECCB is to maintain the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Currency and the integrity of the banking system to facilitate the balanced growth and development of the member states.

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