First Credit Bureau could be in Operation by End of 2012/13


Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, says the institution is anticipating a start up in the operations of at least one of the entities that have been granted licences to operate as credit bureaus, by the end of the 2012/13 fiscal year.

The government, through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, has granted licences to two entities to operate credit bureaus locally, since the passageof the Credit Reporting Act and related Regulations, between 2010 and 2011. These are: Creditinfo Jamaica Limited, and CRIFF NM Credit Assure Limited (CNM-CAL).

The Act and Regulations providethe legal framework for the establishment of credit bureaus in Jamaica, and the sharing of credit information between specified bodies. The Bank of Jamaica, which is the designated supervisory and regulatory agency, has responsibility for reviewing applications and making recommendations to the Minister of Finance and Planning.

Speaking at the BoJ’s quarterly media briefing last week, Mr. Wynter indicated that, “we are expecting at least one of them (institutions), if not both, to begin operations before the end of the year. That’s our expectation at the moment, based on what they (entities) have been doing and the various steps required to commence."

Deputy Governor, Gayon Hosin, who also spoke at the briefing, informed that a third application was submitted recently by another entity, and is currently being reviewed.  “We also have indications of others, with intent (to apply). So, we expect, based on what we have been advised, that there will be others,” she said.

On the duration of the application review process, Mrs. Hosin said this will take a relatively short period of time, once the application includes all of the relevant information required.

The Deputy Governor pointed out that so far, the process has been fairly engaging, as the process is new to Jamaica. Hence, the BoJ has been flexible in accommodating applicants by facilitating them with a reasonable amount of additional time to complete the attendant antecedents.

"So, rather than refuse an application outright (because it may be missing certain information), we indicate what more is needed, once the application comes in the format that is required under the law," Mrs. Hosin explained.

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