For the first time in the African country of Benin, information on both bank credit and microcredit will be collected and integrated into a credit bureau developed by CRIF, thus contributing to a reduction in insolvencies and the development of an efficient lending market that will benefit both lenders and borrowers.

CRIF has recently won the international tender organized by MCA-Benin (Benin Millennium Challenge Account) to establish a credit reporting system in Benin. The MCA-Benin program deals with a series of strategic investments to improve key infrastructure in the country and increase activities and investments in the private sector. MCA-Benin is a body created by the Benin Government to manage the investments of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent international aid agency created by the U.S. Congress in 2004.A credit bureau, known as the Centrale d’Echange d’informations, already operates in Benin, dealing only with microcredit information of a negative nature, and which is only accessible by microfinance institutions. A study by MCA-Benin showed that this solution, being limited only to microcredit, was insufficient to reduce the risk of customer insolvency, and therefore decided to launch an international tender aimed at creating a credit reporting system containing both positive data (i.e. regarding customers who regularly repay their loans) and negative data, and which would be extended to include the different types of operators in the lending market.

The MCA-Benin program comprises four main projects: “access to land”, “access to financial services”, “access to justice” and “access to markets”. In particular, in relation to the growth of financial services in Benin, the MCA project aims to support the economic development of local micro and small businesses by offering them more opportunities to access credit. Specifically, the project includes initiatives and investments to improve the supervision of microcredit institutions, their operational self-sufficiency and the containment of credit risk.

About CRIF’s Strategic Intent:  The project with MCA-Benin is part of a broader CRIF strategy of international expansion in the area of retail lending solutions. In fact CRIF, which created and manages the leading credit reporting system now operating in Italy (EURISC), also manages the banking and non-banking credit bureaus in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Hungary. In addition, it participated in the development of credit reporting systems in Russia, Morocco and Vietnam, as well as the modernization of the technological infrastructure of the credit bureau in Bangladesh.

With its own companies already present in Europe, the Americas and Asia, today CRIF is not only the leader in Italy for retail lending and credit management solutions, but is also the market leader in continental Europe in the field of banking credit information, and one of the principal international operators for integrated business and commercial information services and credit and marketing management services, with more than 1,700 banks and financial institutions using its services worldwide.

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