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IFC to Help Nigeria’s First Bank-Sponsored Private Credit Bureau Increase Access to Financial and Consumer Services


In Johannesburg
Daniel Musiitwa

Phone:+(27) 11 731 3175

Email:
dmusiitwa@ifc.org

In Lagos

Femi Lawal

Phone:+(234) 1 262-6455/6464

Email:
flawal@ifc.org


Lagos, August 13, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will advise Nigeria’s first bank-sponsored credit bureau on compiling and providing reliable credit information to financial institutions and consumer product companies.  This new industry initiative will help improve transparency, reduce fraud, and improve access to financial and consumer services for poorly served segments of the market.

Nigeria’s Credit Reference Company was established in late June with advisory support from IFC and Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. It is being set up by nine Nigerian banks in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, a global provider of credit information products and services that has significant experience running private credit bureaus in emerging markets.


“As an experienced and impartial international institution, IFC is well placed to work with partners and stakeholders to establish the legal and regulatory environment necessary for a vibrant and effective credit bureau market,” said Chika Modi, Chairman of the Credit Reference Company. “We are pleased to be working with IFC to raise standards in the financial system, which will improve access to financial and consumer services in Nigeria,” he added.


In addition to advising the credit bureau on strategic matters, IFC plans to work with other key stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Risk Management Association of Nigeria, and the Organization of Credit Managers to ensure that the country’s laws support development of a private credit bureau industry that can provide robust and comprehensive financial information.


“We look forward to working with financial institutions, consumer product companies, policymakers, and other industry players to establish a financial information infrastructure that serves the interests of all Nigerians and helps drive economic growth,” said Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC’s Country Manager. “We will work quickly with key stakeholders and the Credit Reference Company to establish a suitable business environment for private credit bureaus in Nigeria and to set up a business model that is very quick to market.”


IFC advised the Credit Reference Company to ensure that the selection of Dun & Bradstreet was carried out in a competitive and transparent manner, and IFC will continue to advise on agreements with the bureau’s partners so that operations can commence as quickly as possible.  IFC is not an investor in the Credit Reference Company.  


“Nigeria’s central bank strongly supports the development of private credit bureaus, as these create the right financial infrastructure for banks and other providers of consumer products and services to expand access to finance in poorly served segments of the market.  Such bureaus also reduce the risks of systemic failure in the financial system,” said Dozie Okwuosah, Assistant Director, Banking Supervision Department at the Central Bank of Nigeria. “We look forward to working with key stakeholders, IFC, the Credit Reference Company, and other private credit bureaus to establish a supportive legal and regulatory environment for the industry.”


The investing banks in the Credit Reference Company are United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria Plc, IBTC Chartered Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc., Intercontinental Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Access Bank Plc.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.