Overhauling of Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Management system on the cards

To facilitate inclusion of utilities as well



by Suresh Perera

The proposed revamping of Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Management system will also facilitate the inclusion of utilities, which will open the door for rural people, who have no collateral, to seek credit facilities from the banking sector, a top official said.

This transformation will be a significant milestone as it will give the opportunity to even a simple villager to qualify for a small loan on the basis of timely payment of utilities such as insurance, water, electricity and telephone", says Gamini Karunaratne, Director/General Manager, Credit Information Bureau (CRIB).

With ongoing plans to accommodate gold loans (Pawning) and micro finance as well, detailed information on these transactions will be reflected in CRIB reports after the revamping is completed", he noted in an interview with The Sunday Island.

"After all these products are included, we will concentrate on introducing a credit score in Sri Lanka", he outlined.

"We are working on overhauling the CRIB mechanism to change over to a set-up capable of offering more and varied value added products to the stakeholders and also facilitate the inclusion of utilities", Karunaratne explained.

The new system should be in place by end 2016 or early the following year, he predicted.

"A healthy, long-term track record on utilities, as reflected on a CRIB report under the proposed initiative, could possibly go a long way towards acquiring a different type of collateral called ‘Reputational Collateral’ and thereby assist those without any fixed or movable collateral to access credit", he said.

The build up of this collateral is on the basis of consistency on payments", he emphasized.

CRIB is the first Credit Bureau in the South Asian region established by the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka in 1990. An initiative of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, the institution was a response to the 1980’s debt crisis in the country.

With its 26th anniversary celebrations on the cards in 2016, Karunaratne stressed on the unparalleled service CRIB renders to Sri Lanka’s finance industry.

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