The Bank of Ghana has expanded the list of institutions required to participate in the Credit Reporting System established under the Credit Reporting Act, 2007 (Act 726).
This is pursuant to the Credit Reporting Regulations, 2020 (L.I 2394).
The institutions are telecommunication companies, utility firms, retailers, Mobile Money Operators and Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs). Others are government institutions that offer credit to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, institutions that provide identification documents and entities that supply goods and services on a post-paid or instalment basis.
The rest are the Student Loan Schemes provided by private or government agencies and other entities that have relevant data and information that complies with permissible purposes of credit bureaus.
The move is expected to help ease credit default and consequently reduce Non-Performing Loans.
In line with Sections 24 and 26 of Act 726 and Regulation 22 of the Credit Reporting Regulations, 2020 (L.I 2394), eligible participants in the CRS such as the institutions listed above the Central Bank said are required to provide credit information on their customers to all Credit Bureaus licensed by the Bank of Ghana within 72 hours after entering into a credit agreement or facility and obtain credit reports on prospective customers before concluding credit transactions with such customers.
This will afford the institutions the opportunity to obtain information on the credit behaviour of their clients prior to establishing credit relationships, while ensuring that the information they provide to the CRS on their customers’ credit behaviour helps other creditors to make prudent credit decisions.
The Bank of Ghana urged institutions to take steps to comply with the provisions of Act 726 by October 31, 2021.
The Credit Reporting System (CRS) is a database established under Act 726 to promote the sharing of information on the credit history of debtors with lenders and other users of the CRS.
According to the Bank of Ghana, credit information sharing is beneficial to both lenders and borrowers/debtors as it helps lenders/creditors better assess the credit risk of each borrower/debtor. It also helps to facilitate the delivery and pricing of credit on a differentiated basis.
Since the coming into effect of Act 726 in 2007, the Bank of Ghana has licensed three credit bureaus to provide credit reporting services to licensed financial institutions and to the above-listed category of institutions.
The licensed credit bureaus are XDS Data Ghana Limited; Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau Limited and. HudsonPrice Data Solutions Limited.