Male, Maldives, February 8, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping the Maldives Monetary Authority
establish the country’s first credit information bureau to create a formal
mechanism for sharing credit information and making more informed credit-related
IFC’s support to the Maldives Monetary
Authority, which regulates local financial institutions, will enhance capacity
of the country’s financial sector and create a formal credit culture.
This will help improve access to finance for more than 2,500 small
and medium enterprises, supporting their livelihoods.
The Maldivian financial sector has an
important role to play, although there are limited formal mechanisms for
credit providers to share information of their past borrowers. Existing
practices lack appropriate levels of objectivity, are costly, and time
consuming, especially for small-value credit exposures.
“IFC’s advice in preparing a business
plan and its support during the bureau’s startup phase is highly valued,”
said Neeza Imad, Executive Director, Maldives Monetary Authority. “As
part of this new initiative, IFC will review our legal and regulatory framework
for an effective world-class credit bureau and support the implementation
IFC has been working with the Maldives
Monetary Authority and Ministry of Finance since 2007 to assess the technology
readiness of main banks to support a state-of-the-art credit registry and
to help prepare a five-year business plan for creating the registry. The
registry’s development was funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The Maldives Monetary Authority’s request
for IFC to help establish a credit information bureau came soon after IFC
submitted the results of its study assessing the need and market readiness
for sharing credit information.
Per Kjellerhaug, IFC Regional Manager,
said, “Creating a financial infrastructure that supports informed credit-related
decisions and improves access to credit for small and medium enterprises
is an important priority for IFC and the Maldives. Establishing a
credit information bureau, will help the country get closer to achieving
In the Maldives, IFC’s current investment
portfolio is $100 million in tourism, telecommunications, and financial
markets. IFC was instrumental in establishing the country’s first
leasing and housing-finance institutions. In 2006, IFC launched its
advisory services program that continues to support development of tourism
and financial sectors.
To learn more about IFC in South Asia,
please visit www.ifc.org/southasia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.