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Story Highlights

  • The microfinancing sector has been further strengthened through a partnership forged between CreditInfo Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Association of Micro Financing Limited (JAMFIN).
  • Chairperson of JAMFIN, Dr. Blossom O’Meally-Nelson, said the partnership will provide assistance, particularly for small business stakeholders, to access solutions that can potentially spur the growth of their operations.
  • JAMFIN was established in 2011 by major sector stakeholders as a not-for-profit company to foster growth within the microenterprise sector.

The microfinancing sector has been further strengthened through a partnership forged between CreditInfo Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Association of Micro Financing Limited (JAMFIN).

This arrangement will enable JAMFIN member financial institutions to access information from CreditInfo on the creditworthiness and history of businesses applying for loans, thereby enabling the funding entities to consolidate their portfolio risk management regimes.

Representatives of both organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising the arrangement, during a credit bureau forum hosted at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in New Kingston, on Wednesday, March 30.

Chairperson of JAMFIN, Dr. Blossom O’Meally-Nelson, said the partnership will provide assistance, particularly for small business stakeholders, to access solutions that can potentially spur the growth of their operations.

Additionally, she said the availability of credit information will encourage borrowers “to show greater financial responsibility and engage in serious…and prudent…financial planning,” as also lenders to formalise their operations, where this is not the case.

CreditInfo’s Chief Executive Officer, Craig Stephen, in welcoming the partnership, cited the need to encourage more businesses to use the credit bureau facility.

“That’s why we have forged this partnership…with JAMFIN in order to build support and offer you the tools that you need to be a part of this formal structure,” he said.

While noting that Jamaica’s credit bureau regime was at the “infant stage,” Mr. Stephen advised that “six out of every ten persons have a credit history in our (CreditInfo) database and…that’s pretty good.”

For his part, CreditInfo Jamaica Limited Chairman, Hákon Stefánsson, assured that the bureau’s database content was not restricted to bad credit history, but also contains “good history which is actually the key for…customers to get access to credit.”

CreditInfo Jamaica Limited is the first entity to receive a licence from the Government to operate a credit bureau, having been so awarded in 2012.

The entity is a joint venture between the CreditInfo Group, headquartered in Iceland, and the local company Coalesce Credit Solutions Limited.

The company, which officially commenced operations in July 2013, has been developing a range of credit risk management products and services which includes credit reports and scores, public information reports and identification verification products.

JAMFIN was established in 2011 by major sector stakeholders as a not-for-profit company to foster growth within the microenterprise sector.

Its services include: training and development; access to up-to-date micro-enterprise data; general business advice; contributions to policy formation; advocacy and lobbying.