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
“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
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.
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.