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State Bank opens on-line credit information bureau

KARACHI (April 26 2003) : The State Bank of Pakistan has started on-line Credit Information Bureau (CIB) from Friday, which is the first in South Asia to provide current data about borrowers.

The CIB-online was inaugurated by State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain in the morning.

This will help banks, development finance institutions (DFIs) and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).

Deputy Governor, State Bank, Tawfiq A Husain, held a press briefing and said that the CIB-online facility is the first in South Asia.

The facility has been developed in collaboration with Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) and in which the Association provided equipment for the set-up.

The admission fee for banks to access the data of CIB-online has been fixed at Rs 130,000 while the NBFCs will have to pay Rs 65000. All payment will go to PBA.

Husain said that so far 60 banks and NBFCs have joined the CIB-online and the rest will join before April 30, 2003, which is the deadline given by the State Bank.

CIB-online will provide data of borrowers who got loans of Rs 500,000 and above, and below this amount would be addressed in another project in future.

He said the listed borrowers are 164,846 (with Rs 500,000 and above) in the country.

Besides credit reports, financial institutions will also submit monthly credit data required by the SBP online.

Under this facility the authorised persons of the financial institutions listed with SBP will be allowed on-line access to the CIB servers.

The Deputy Governor said since the data is highly sensitive, all possible measures have been taken to avoid its misuse.

Passwords will be given to banks and DFIs, and specific persons in these organisations will be authorised to access the data.

No foreign element, other than the authorised persons, could access the data, he said.

The State Bank is also working on a project under World Bank's technical assistance for banking sector, which will further develop the national credit reporting system by enhancing the role of the private sector so that optimum benefits are provided to the participants, consistent with best international practices.

This will provide the private credit bureaus opportunities to satisfy the growing needs of borrowers, specially the small and medium size, as well as the lenders.

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