Credit Reporting Legislation Passed in all ECCB Member Countries


Credit Reporting Legislation Passed in all ECCB Member Countries

As part of ongoing preparations for the establishment of a Credit Bureau, legislation has been passed in all member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

One of the main objectives of introducing a credit bureau in the region is to make accessing credit and finance easier for the citizens and residents of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Speaking on this week’s episode of ECCB Connects, Legal Officer at the ECCB, Roland Moore, says the credit reporting legislation ensures that there is a structured framework for order to be established among the ECCU countries. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved, including the credit bureau service provider, financial institutions and consumers. According to the legislation, the ECCB is responsible for regulating any credit bureau service provider in the ECCU, which in this case is EveryData ECCU Ltd.

Moore points out that as a result of the legislation, citizens and residents will soon be able to access credit in a timelier manner and capitalise on the benefits of credit reporting.

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  1. The existence of a credit bureaus in these small territories is useless. The banks and credit unions already have a person’s financial information that they exchange between themselves. A credit bureau is good for places like USA, China and India where a person can hide their financial information in one bank without allowing any other financial institution to access it. In the ECCU even if you apply to get a loan from Courts Ready Cash you have to sign a document that allows them to ask all the banks, credit unions and other financial institution in the ECCU about you and the ones that do will provide the necessary information including existing balances on loans.

    The first and only credit bureau service provider in the ECCU happens to be a subsidiary or an affiliated company of a European company. Why not give a homegrown financial services company a chance to provide services to their own people. The service of collecting people’s financial information and rating it is not beyond the capabilities of people in the ECCU. Yes, a local company can always be formed and become a credit bureau service provider but will not have to compete with the foreign juggernaut who is well resourced and already entrenched not only in Europe but have captured the Jamaican, Guyanese and Barbadian market. Don’t think Trinidad allowed them in as yet.

    Just think about the fact that this foreign company is already poised and waiting with their ‘licence’ from the ECCB to provide this service. I wonder if they were the ones pushing this useless legislation so they can extract resources from the people in the ECCU. Then to push the narrative that the company will make getting credit easier for residents in the ECCU is outrageous. If people really sit down and think about it how would this company make getting a loan easier? You still have to provide financial information and the company will not give you any money to help you.

    The question people need to ask is why would a foreign company be interested in providing a service to the people of the ECCU. Ask yourself if this service is for free. They would have to pay a ‘licence’ to the ECCB and be regulated by them which will come at a cost to them. Who will end up paying for all this?

    I can’t remember anybody in the region crying out for a credit bureau or rating agency in the Caribbean. Why is this being forced on the ECCU? People crying out about inflation and the ECCB not doing anything about that when they can reduce the interest rates.

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