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02.06.2007 General News

Credit Report Law Inspires Hope

A financial analyst, Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh, says the signing of the Credit Report Bill into law “could not have come at a better time”.

He declared: “It has come at the time when the macroeconomic environment is stable and augurs well for real business.”

Mr Tetteh said in an interview that irrespective of the type of industry people were engaged in, they needed money to expand their businesses even in the face of the energy crisis.

There are those who may like to bring in new generating plants and take advantage of the prevailing crisis.

Additionally, the financial sector is expected to take advantage of the prevailing economic climate to help quicken the growth of the economy.

Already, there are many banks in the system, just as there is enough money in the financial institutions, and if they do not do business with the money at their disposal, they would be the losers.

Mr Tetteh noted that now there was a keen competition among the banks and the way of doing things had to change to suit the demands of the time.

He appealed to the Bank of Ghana to quicken the pace of licensing the credit bureaux, saying that one of them, XGSdata, was ready to begin operations.

Other bureaux are in the queue and the central bank has to increase the tempo in processing their applications and license those found eligible.

Mr Tetteh commended everybody who played a role in the enactment of the bill into law, because it would impact positively on the economy.

“Indeed there will be speed in approving request, risk will be reduced because there will be adequate information on the beneficiary and loans will be cheap,” says Tetteh.

Under the Act, a data provider which is a financial institution shall report to the licensed credit bureau some pieces of information without first obtaining consent from the customer.

They include details of the loans which are 90 days past the due dates for repayment where the amount owed is not in dispute, or the customer has not made satisfactory proposal for repayment of debt after a formal demand.

The provision goes further to include a person involved in financial malpractice or a person involved in the issuance of dishonoured cheques owing to lack of funds or fraud.

However, a financial institution shall not provide some specified pieces of information about the borrower to a credit bureau without the consent of the borrower.

The financial institution shall request the consent of the customer in account opening application forms, loan application forms and loan agreements.

A provision under the Act says: “A financial institution shall conduct a search with respect to the applicant's record on the database of one or more credit bureaux licensed under this Act before it makes a decision to grant an application for credit or other facility.”

Story by C. S. Buabeng