FIDN Mekong PilotUnder the leadership of the IFC and BIIA and with the support of ABAC, the National Bank of Thailand, the National Credit Bureau of Thailand, representative from the Thai Bankers Association and the Board of Trade of Thailand and eight credit reporting service providers (CRSPs) from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR met in Bangkok on 4 – 5 July to explore how to best share credit information cross borders to support the expansion trade, investment and cross-border employment in the region.  This initiative is in line with Asia-Pacific Financial Forum (ABAC) Cebu Action Plan which calls for a regional credit information network.

The meeting was supported by interesting and informative presentations by Dr. Julius Caesar Parreñas, Coordinator, Asia-Pacific Financial Forum; and Senior Advisor, Nomura and Jinchang Lai and Hung Ngovandan, from Finance & Markets, World Bank Group.

Sheerin Peter (brochure photo) 300BIIA was represented by Peter Sheerin who outlined to the participants the benefits of cross border sharing and also the recent developments with the EU/USA Safe Harbour and the data sharing model developed by ACCIS that supports the EU cross border exchange of credit information.

Following much informed debate, brainstorming, and discussion, the participants recognized and agreed on the need for cross-economy exchanges of credit information to support  the deepening economic integration in the Asia Pacific Region.

It was acknowledged that credit information collaboration across borders is particularly challenging as the various economies have primarily structured their credit reporting systems to service their domestic customers. All participants expressed a willingness to develop processes and procedures to support the exchange of credit reports taking into account  their respective stages of development, regulatory requirements and market demands.

The meeting agreed on a set of basic principles for the sub-regional credit reporting collaboration. Among others, these include: sharing will be in the form of credit reports only, not a physical transfer of data from one economy to another; CRSPs will set up voluntary, bilateral and reciprocal arrangements among themselves; sharing will be conducted based on commercial principles and driven by enquiries from the data subject host economies; CRSPs should comply with any existing regulatory requirements in the data subject source economies (e.g., consent, permissible use, security requirement); host economy CRSP should validate the identity of data subjects and be prepared to assist the source economy CRSP on any information disputes; and CRSPs should make available English version credit reports. Participants also emphasized the importance of adequate communications with their regulators, members and data subjects on this new type of services.

Following the meeting the National Credit Bureau of Thailand, A member of BIIA, kindly hosted a comprehensive  event at their premises where they shared their development journey and their subsequent extensive experience in operating a world class credit reporting organization. It was acknowledged by all participants that this event was extremely beneficial.

For further information contact: Peter Sheerin, Chairman of BIIA’s regional activities.  Peter can be reached at: [email protected]