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Al Etihad Credit Bureau Begins Issuing Credit Data To Individuals

Al Etihad Credit Bureau Begins Issuing Credit Data To Individuals

UAE residents and citizens can now obtain their credit reports from the Al Etihad Credit Bureau’s website or customer service centres for a nominal fee.

The UAE’s Al Etihad Credit Bureau, the federal government company mandated to implement and operate a credit reporting system, announced that it has begun issuing credit reports to residents and citizens.

Individuals can now obtain their credit reports instantaneously by completing the necessary documentation through the bureau’s website or at its customer service centres in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Applicants will be required to present their Emirates ID before paying a nominal fee ranging from Dhs70 to Dhs220m to obtain their data, the bureau said in a statement

Al Etihad Credit Bureau will begin issuing reports of businesses starting next year as part of its second phase, officials said.

“This (the second phase) includes issuing credit reports on all companies operating in the UAE, bounced cheque details and telecommunications companies’ payment information for the past 24 months,” said Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau.

“We will announce the launch of other services in the future, which will be implemented throughout various phases. Specific dates will be announced early next year.”

Presently, the bureau said that it has completed the first phase of its operational roll-out, which included uploading 24 months of credit data from banks and financial institutions operating in the UAE to its database.

The federal agency, which began issuing consumer reports to banks in September, also announced that it has uploaded 90 per cent of the consumer credit data that was provided to it in the last 24 months.

The bureau’s database will include information for 2.8 million individuals, representing 97 per cent of the total credit active population of the UAE, while featuring six million credit facilities of UAE residents.

“As of today, both financial institutions and UAE residents are able to obtain credit reports with a data accuracy rating of 99.5 per cent, which surpasses international standards of credit data quality and accuracy,” said Lutfi.

“These credit reports will help individuals to understand their debt levels and have a clearer picture of their financial obligations. This will in turn enhance their ability to plan for future borrowing, and manage their finances responsibly.”

He added that credit reports will also help banks and financial institutions assess risk accurately and enable them to make informed decisions.

About 43 banks and financial institutions have submitted their consumers’ credit data and 29 have subscribed to the bureau’s credit reporting services.

Lutfi said that not all banks have submitted their data yet as many are providing information on a manual basis. However, he confirmed that most major banks have provided the data to the bureau, declining to name specific institutions.

All banks are required to send their data by the end of the year, officials at the federal agency confirmed.

The bureau is looking to exchange information with other credit bureaus at a later date, Lufti confirmed.

“If it (exchange of credit reports) happens, then it will happen at the GCC level. Even then we will start with commercial enterprises, followed by individual consumer credit reports.”

The chief executive said that if the bureau could work out the details, exchange could start happening by mid-2015.

Apart from strengthening the banking sector, it is hoped the bureau will be instrumental in helping curb irresponsible lending habits and reduce debt.

In response to a query by Gulf Business, Lutfi said that launch of the bureau will not dampen consumer lending in the country.

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