Access to credit information vital

Zaid Kamhawi says robust reporting systems will help everyone

Credit levels in the UAE have grown exponentially over the past few years, making the availability of credit information more vital than ever, said Zaid Kamhawi, business development director at Emcredit, the UAE's first private credit information services company.

Speaking yesterday at the inaugural Middle East International Banking, Financial Technology and Services Exhibition and Conference (MEFX) Summit, he said: "Credit information companies provide comprehensive and timely credit information, thus enabling institutions to make more informed decisions.

"The initial phase of establishing a robust credit reporting system calls for greater public-private partnership and awareness about its benefits for both lenders and consumers.

"As the UAE's economy continues to grow at unprecedented rate, credit information services will become increasingly important for the country's financial sector infrastructure."

The conference, which started on Sunday and ends today, is being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Kamhawi also underlined the importance of non-traditional data in assessing risks and the need for streamlining application processing with the aid of credit bureaus.

"Non-traditional data allows lenders to assess customers who are not already in the credit system. Global studies have shown that the benefits of information sharing and multiple sources of information are significant, and lead to improved loan performance," he added.

Kamhawi also presented the "application processing" solution to an audience from the regional banking and finance industry. With this solution, banks can automate the laborious process of verifying and processing applications through credit information companies. Application processing replaces manual referrals.

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