Press Releases

IFC Helps Belize Develop its First Credit Reporting System to Increase Access to Finance

In Washington, DC:
Vanessa Bauza, IFC
Phone: +1 202-458-1603

In Belize City:
Norvella Riverol, Central Bank of Belize
Phone: 501-223-6194 ext 354

Belize City, Belize, April 18, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Belize establish its first credit reporting system, which will allow financial institutions to share credit information and better manage lending risks, thereby expanding access to finance for individual borrowers and small businesses.

With support from the Canadian International Development Agency, IFC and the Central Bank of Belize are co-hosting the third Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference today in Belize City. The conference will bring together representatives from financial institutions, credit unions, utilities, insurance companies and central banks in the region to build awareness and deepen knowledge of credit reporting systems. IFC organized previous conferences in St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica in 2012.

“A credit reporting system is key to the development of a sound economy,” said Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. “It helps to reduce risks for financial institutions and often leads to lower interest rates, making loans more affordable and more widely available. That’s a win-win for Belize.”

In developed countries, information technology has led to the collection and distribution of vast amounts of financial information, greatly deepening access to credit. However, credit markets in many Caribbean economies have traditionally been thin, and access to finance has been constrained due to a lack of information about borrowers’ credit histories. Establishing the legal and regulatory frameworks for a credit reporting system and helping financial institutions more accurately evaluate borrowers’ credit risks increases the availability of credit and lowers borrowing costs.

IFC has helped the Bank of Guyana pass credit reporting legislation and regulations. The Bahamas, Belize, Haiti, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and Suriname are developing credit reporting legislation with support from IFC.

“IFC’s Caribbean Credit Bureau Program plays a critical role in increasing access to finance and promoting financial stability,” said Jun Zhang, IFC Senior Manager for the Caribbean. “By working in partnership with the Central Bank of Belize, we can help build the infrastructure needed so financial institutions can make informed credit decisions on a vast number of individuals who have previously been underserved by the financial community because of a lack of credit information.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

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