Press Releases

IFC Launches Best Practice Guide on Establishing Credit Bureaus

In Washington
Nataliya Mylenko

Phone: + 1(202) 473 7552


Rita Louise Jupe

Phone: + 1(202) 458 8967

Washington, D.C., October 26, 2006 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has launched a new guide explaining how to establish credit bureaus. The guide, entitled Credit Bureau Knowledge Guide, is the first publication to provide a comprehensive overview of the development of credit bureaus.

Credit bureaus play a critical role in expanding access to finance to underserved market segments, including small businesses. Consumer and commercial credit information helps lenders make better credit decisions, reduce bad loans, and increase the volume of business they undertake.  

The new guide assembles global knowledge on credit bureaus, which has been fragmented, much like the environment for sharing credit information itself.  The guide lists the steps to setting up a credit bureau, provides guidance on best practices, discusses the necessary legal and regulatory frameworks, and provides five case studies from Central America, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Vietnam.  

“We hope that this guide will promote best practices in credit bureau development and risk management, as well as assist policy makers and other key stakeholders in designing policies and frameworks for furthering credit bureau development in emerging markets,” says Peer Stein, Head of IFC’s Global Credit Bureau Program.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit

About the Global Credit Bureau Program

Since 2001, IFC has supported the development of credit bureaus in over 40 countries through technical assistance and investment.  Examples include support to the regional credit bureau in Central America and the first private credit bureau in Egypt, work on the legal and regulatory framework in Kenya and Panama, and ongoing assistance toward creation of a private bureau in Vietnam.  

The Credit Bureau Knowledge Guide is available on IFC’s Web site at:$FILE/FI-CB-KnowledgeGuide.pdf

For paper copies, contact Ms. Nataliya Mylenko at