Al Etihad Credit Bureau holds its first Annual Subscriber Forum
Al Etihad Credit Bureau holds its first Annual Subscriber Forum

Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB) held its “1st Annual Al Etihad Credit Bureau Subscriber Forum” on Monday 13th June, at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. 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 remainder of the year.

Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau, opened the forum with a recap of the key milestones in the entity’s journey since its inception. This covered several operational highlights and discussion around risk post the AECB era. Panelists Mr. Manoj Chawla, Chief Risk Officer at Emirates NBD and Mr. Raman Krishnan, Chief Risk Officer at Dunia Finance, contributed to the session with the experience of their respective organizations in risk perception and the way forward post AECB. 

Marwan Lutfi quote: “The number of Subscribers with Al Etihad Credit Bureau had doubled in 2015 to reach a total of 59 whilst the average monthly enquiries had tripled in Q4 2015 compared to Q1 of the same year”.

Mr Manoj Chawla commented: “Underwriting has become more informed thereby substantially adding to efficiency and also managing risk and serving the customer. Al Etihad Credit Bureau has helped Banks in better managing the risk reward equation and can be seen as driving a responsible behavior in the market that is overall beneficial for all participants. The Bureau reports have become one of the key drivers in the retail underwriting process as portfolio coverage continues to grow with practically all products covered. Usage of the Commercial Bureau Reports is the latest addition to the Bank’s bureau strategy and we look forward to more enhanced products from the bureau in future”.

Mr Krishnan commented: “At dunia, we fully support the introduction of the bureau. As such, we have been users since inception and are proud to have been amongst the first of the UAE lenders through 100% implementation and conversion of data across our customer base. As responsible players in the UAE financial landscape, we refer to the bureau for all of our decisions. In using this resource, we have seen 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.”

Lutfi also stressed the importance of strengthening communication, collaboration and knowledge exchange among subscribers and with the Bureau in order 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 financial and economic sector of the UAE. 

The following session moderated by Mr. Daniele Lavalle, Senior Manager Product Development & Data Operations at AECB, covered ‘Data Quality’. Topics included a recap of data acquisition, technical analysis data submissions trends, data quality analysis and customer disputes highlights and analysis. Panelists Mr. Allan Dy Co, Executive Director & Head – Global Retail Credit & Risk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi & Mr. Saro Vinci, GCB Risk Director - Middle East & North Africa at Citibank, contributed to the session with the experience of their respective organizations in managing data and accuracy.

Marwan Lutfi quote: “In more than 18 months of operations, with over 6.6 million active facilities in the AECB database, only 1,880 disputes were raised which account for less than 0.0005% of all facilities in the database. 90% of disputes were resolved in 10 working days. However, 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 data corrections. This will considerably further reduce dispute turnaround times and significantly increase the accuracy of data submissions”.

Mr. Allan Dy Co stated, “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 platform further 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 of the UAE.”

On this occasion, Mr. Dinesh Sharma, Citi’s Consumer Banking Head in the Middle East said: “We are happy to partner closely with Al Etihad Credit Bureau on initiatives that play a pivotal role in the continued development of the banking sector. Subscribing to the AECB services benefit both the industry and our clients and we continue to collaborate with the Bureau to improve the quality of data that we submit to help regulate lending practices in the UAE”. 

The next session presented by Lavalle and AECB corporate sales team covered ‘Product Development’. Topics covered included a recap of products launched to date, a brief on the upcoming Consumer Credit Score, newly enhanced Alerts and Bulk Portfolio Monitoring products and benchmarking reports.

Marwan Lutfi quote: “We have a very ambitious product development roadmap set out for 2016 and 2017. Starting with the Consumer Credit Score that will fulfill the World Bank Competitiveness requirements for the UAE all the way to Benchmarking Reports which will provide powerful analytics, such as market share, growth vs. risk and bad debt analysis by demographics, that will undoubtedly improve risk analysis and lending practices in the UAE”.

Wrapping up the event, Al Etihad Credit Bureau recognized a number of financial institutions for their significant role in contributing to the Bureau’s success to-date. 

The awards were as follows: 

  1. 1. First successful data submission awarded to Sharjah Islamic Bank
  2. 2. First consumer report enquiry awarded to National Bank of Fujairah
  3. 3. First commercial report Enquiry awarded to Aafaq
  4. 4. First alert usage awarded to Standard Chartered Bank
  5. 5. First bulk portfolio monitoring awarded to Citibank
  6. 6. First Application-to-Application (A2A) enquiry awarded to Mashreq. 
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