Al Etihad Credit Bureau receives 1,880 disputes in 18 months
Credit reporting platform is set to issue consumer scores and benchmarking reports
Only 1,880 disputes were raised in more than 18 months of operations of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, which has over 6.6 million active facilities in its database, said Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, chief executive officer of the bureau.
It accounts for less than 0.0005 per cent of all facilities in the database. "Ninety per cent of disputes were resolved in 10 working days," said the chief executive while speaking at the first annual Al Etihad Credit Bureau Subscriber Forum.
"In our drive towards excellence, we have also developed an online data correction tool for our data providers that will enable them to make real-time corrections. This will further reduce dispute turnaround times and significantly increase the accuracy of data submissions."
The forum included 59 subscribers with senior representatives from the risk and retail divisions of financial institutions in the UAE.
The event established a deeper level of engagement with all credit providers, offered a platform to discuss operational improvements and outlined upcoming product and data developments for the rest of the year.
Lutfi recalled key milestones in the Bureau's journey since its inception. This covered several operational highlights and discussion around risk.
He said: "The number of subscribers with the Al Etihad Credit Bureau had doubled in 2015 to reach 59, while the average monthly enquiries had tripled in Q4 2015 compared to Q1 of the same year."
Lutfi also stressed the importance of strengthening communication, collaboration and knowledge exchange among subscribers and with the Bureau to ensure that the industry benefits from one common credit reporting platform that not only solidifies risk and lending practices in the industry but also positively affects the UAE's financial sector.
The CEO said: "We have a very ambitious product development road map set out for 2016 and 2017. Starting with the consumer credit score that will fulfill the World Bank competitiveness requirements for the UAE, benchmarking reports that will provide analytics such as market share, growth vs risk and bad debt analysis by demographics, these will improve risk analysis and lending practices in the UAE."
Manoj Chawla, chief risk officer at Emirates NBD, said: "Underwriting has become more informed, thereby substantially adding to efficiency and also managing risk and serving the customer."
The Bureau has helped banks in better managing the risk-reward equation and can be seen driving responsible behaviour in the market, he said.
The reports have become one of the key drivers in the retail underwriting process as portfolio coverage continues to grow with all products covered. "Usage of the Bureau reports is the latest addition to the bank's strategy and we look forward to more enhanced products in future," Chawla said.
Raman Krishnan, chief risk officer at Dunia Finance, said: "At dunia, we support the introduction of the bureau. As such, we have been users since inception and are proud to have been among the first of the UAE lenders through 100 per cent implementation and conversion of data across our customer base."
As responsible players in the UAE financial landscape, "we refer to the bureau for all our decisions. In using this resource, we have seen a positive impact on our ability to make faster credit decisions due to the sheer volume of data available to us. This enables us to better serve our clients, and to ensure pricing with a risk-reward balance."
Allan Dy Co, executive director and head - global retail credit and risk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said: "The Al Etihad Credit Bureau is changing the way banks and financial institutions extend credit facilities to new and existing clients.
"It provides transparency in allowing institutions to take a well-informed credit decision with focus on financially stable clients. As the Credit Bureau evolves by offering more products, tools and services to its subscribers, we can see both clients and banks reaping the benefits of a stronger financial landscape in the UAE," he said.
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