Tonga, August 9, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has helped
Tonga set up its first credit bureau that allows banks to share credit
information and better manage lending risks, thereby lowering their credit
defaults and in turn expanding access to finance for individuals and small
IFC partnered with Data Bureau Ltd.,
a Fijian-owned credit information company, to establish the Tongan branch,
Data Bureau (Tonga) Ltd. Over the past year, the bureau has developed a
database that has 3,000 public notices and the credit histories of more
than 700 companies out of a total of 2,884 registered businesses in Tonga.
“The bureau is about ensuring that
customer risk is properly managed through credit-information sharing,”
said IFC’s Regional Manager for the Pacific Gavin Murray. “Based on other
existing programs, individuals and small businesses will have greater access
to credit at reduced lending rates, which will help them grow and expand
IFC helped train staff members from
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Westpac Bank, Tonga Development
Bank, and MBf Bank in using the database. A code of conduct, a training
guide, membership agreements, and customer flyers have been developed to
assist with the roll out of the bureau.
services not only benefit financiers and credit providers in the country,
but also the people,” said Delores Elliot, manager of Data Bureau Ltd.
“The bureau will greatly encourage people to be responsible in their financial
commitments. It’s a win-win situation for both parties in the long term.”
IFC has been supporting Tonga’s financial sector to create a private credit
bureau since 2010. IFC is also supporting South Pacific Business Development,
a regional microfinance provider, in expanding access to finance to women
entrepreneurs across Tonga. IFC’s advisory services are carried out in
partnership with Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
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 www.ifc.org.