IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) to reform its credit-reporting framework. This is part of a wider effort to improve the country’s financial infrastructure, facilitate lending for smaller businesses, and boost economic growth.

Around 100 representatives—including government officials and managers of local financial institutions—attended an international symposium on credit reporting in Vientiane today. Funded by Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the British Embassy in Vientiane, the event brought together for the first time, the National Bank of Cambodia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank of Thailand, and credit-bureau companies from countries in the region to raise awareness of the importance of credit reporting. Participating agencies shared various models of credit-reporting systems in the region. This will help BOL’s efforts to upgrade the country’s credit-information bureau, a central platform that collates credit information of borrowers, according to IFC.

“A credit-information bureau can perform the crucial function of gathering and distributing reliable credit information, improving creditor protection, enhancing competition in the credit market, and ultimately increasing access to credit,” said Vattana Dalaloy, Deputy Governor, Bank of the Lao PDR. “Our partnership with IFC will help us bring Lao PDR’s credit-reporting infrastructure in line with international standards, enabling businesses obtain the financing they need to grow and contribute to the economy.”

“Credit-reporting systems are a critical element of a country’s financial infrastructure and essential for creating a healthy financial sector and facilitating greater access to finance for smaller businesses,” said Phongsavanh Phomkong, Head of IFC’s office in Vientiane. “They are also effective tools for financial institutions to manage credit risks, expand lending operations, and foster financial inclusion.”

Source : The Financial