Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB), the UAE federal government company mandated to implement and operate a credit reporting system across the UAE, has 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.
Speaking during a panel discussion – ‘credit reporting growth in the GCC region: progress with the credit reporting infrastructure and business models in the GCC region’ at today’s World Consumer Credit Reporting Conference (WCCRC) in Dubai, Mr. Lutfi said:
“In light of the GCC’s continuing economic recovery and the ongoing development of the region’s financial infrastructure, there is a need for certain precautions to be taken in order to protect the lending sector, by providing a clear picture of credit behaviour patterns and minimising any risks to the credit market. This will help banks and financial institutions to reduce costs and lower provisions for credit losses, as well as allow individuals and companies with good credit profiles to access better loan terms and interest rates.”
The 9th World Consumer Credit Reporting Conference (WCCRC) is being held until October 21st in Dubai with the support and sponsorship of 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. AECB’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 competiveness.
Mr. Lutfi added: “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. Credit bureaux 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 Mr. Lutfi included Nabil Al Mubarak, CEO of SIMAH; Abdulwahid Janahi, CEO of Benefitco Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau and Hafid Oubrik, Financial Sector Specialist at the Arab Monetary Fund.
The session covered the experiences of GCC credit bureaux 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.