In the eight members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) – the countries that use the EC Dollar – a credit bureau will be set up by law, with technical help from the International Development Bank Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (Compete Caribbean).
The credit bureau, ECCU Creditinfo Ltd, has been licenced under the Credit Reporting Act which has been passed in ECCU member countries. It is regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
The credit bureau aims to improve access to financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which make up the lifeblood of Eastern Caribbean economies.
Through Creditinfo, information is collected and shared on how individuals and businesses manage their credit from lending institutions so lenders can determine their credit worthiness quickly, safely and securely.
The credit bureau gathers information on your borrowing behaviour from various credit providers including:
Together, the data collected from these providers create a credit report:
Before the establishment of the credit bureau, banks and other lenders would contact all the references listed in an application for credit. They would perform credit checks with previous lenders to see if you or your business is a responsible borrower.
With a credit bureau to provide financial institutions and other credit providers access to a credit history, it makes credit information-sharing much easier and faster.
The lenders get timely access to information that helps with assessing the risk of lending to a potential borrower. With less uncertainty about potential borrowers, credit providers can price lending more effectively. Responses to credit applications - whether the answer is yes or no - are now faster and are based on solid information that you have access to.
As a borrower, the availability of a full credit history improves your access to credit.
Credit reporting discourages discriminatory lending practices. Lending is sure.
Credit reporting leads to lower default rates. Lending is a safer bet.
Over time, as it builds up a database with historical information, the credit bureau will produce other tools such as a credit score, fraud prevention and identity theft prevention tools for the benefit of the borrower and creditor.