Measures to protect banks key for industry’s growth

UAE and GCC reaping benefits of high-quality credit reporting

By Abdul Basit – Chief Reporter

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Published: Wed 22 Oct 2014, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:43 PM

Dubai: Precautions are needed to protect the lending sector and minimise any risks to the credit market in Gulf countries, advised Al Etihad Credit Bureau chief executive officer Marwan Ahmad Lutfi.

Speaking during a panel discussion entitled “Credit Reporting Growth in the GCC Region: Progress with the Credit Reporting Infrastructure and Business Models in the GCC Region” on the first day at World Consumer Credit Reporting Conference, or WCCRC, in Dubai, Lutfi also stressed the importance of GCC credit bureaus collaboration to strengthen the regional economy.

The ninth WCCRC concludes today, and is being held with the support and sponsorship of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. The event, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East, has attracted around 300 participants from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Al Etihad Credit Bureau’s role in supporting this global event is in line with its ongoing commitment to adopt the highest international standards in credit reporting and the Bureau’s strategic plans to strengthen the UAE’s global competitiveness.

Lutfi further stressed the importance of strengthening communication, collaboration and knowledge exchange between GCC countries in order to support the regional credit reporting industry and in turn enhance GCC economies and credit markets.

He said: “The banking sector in the GCC, and particularly in the UAE, has experienced a number of positive developments in recent years, through the implementation of high-quality credit reporting and enhanced transparency. The credit bureau will provide reliable and accurate credit information to help banks and financial institutions effectively evaluate risk, enabling them to make positive decisions in order to reduce credit losses from non-performing loans. This will, in turn, enhance the financial and regulatory infrastructure across GCC countries.”

Speakers who participated in the panel discussion alongside Lutfi included Nabil Al Mubarak, CEO of Simah; Abdulwahid Janahi, CEO of the Benefitco Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau; and Hafid Oubrik, financial sector specialist at the Arab Monetary Fund.

The session covered the experiences of GCC credit bureaus since their establishment and their role towards supporting banks and financial institutions, in addition to a review of future plans to evolve and develop the regional credit reporting industry.

— abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com



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