It is anticipated that individuals and their financing institutions will be able to access credit information from CRIF Information Services Bahamas, which operates The Bahamas’ first ever credit bureau, before the end of 2021.
Sherrece Saunders, deputy manager of the Bank Supervision Department at The Central Bank of The Bahamas, said very soon, consumers will be able to look at their credit report and make sure it is correct or updated.
“Consumers have access to the credit bureau. If you go to the website, you will see that there are a number of frequently asked questions and that can give you additional guidance, but you can actually request a copy of your credit report once the information is populated. You are allowed to have a free report once a year, otherwise you can receive it at a cost and so, you will be able to see what is there for you,” she said during a webinar presented by ACFE Bahamas Chapter & Citadel Consultants Limited, titled, “Fraud Prevention: Trends to Expect in 2022”.
“Additionally, lenders are obliged to provide you information, should you ask, on whether or not information has been shared on you. So, there is the ability for you to know what the lender has received on you and also to get information yourself.
“In regards to the private sector, there are certain vendors that will have access to the system. Of course, the persons who provide information into the system will have direct receipt of it and like I said, we have 45 entities, which includes utility companies.”
The credit bureau is considered to be an important and integral step toward an improved credit culture in The Bahamas. Commercial banks, credit unions and utility companies began reporting data on their credit holders in April this year.
The bureau’s credit information reports are expected to help reduce uncertainties around the quality of potential borrowers, while also improving medium- and long-term access to both business and personal credit.
Earlier this week, Central Bank Governor John Rolle said, “The bureau is at the point where it can even begin or soon begin to provide credit reports back to the agencies that have submitted data, meaning that they will be in a position where they can do analysis on the information and provide insights.”