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UAE’s Al Etihad Credit Bureau To Launch First Phase In September

UAE’s Al Etihad Credit Bureau To Launch First Phase In September

The much-awaited bureau will begin to issue consumer credit reports to financial institutions next month, it said.

The UAE’s much-awaited Al Etihad Credit Bureau will begin to issue consumer credit reports to financial institutions from the beginning of September 2014, it announced on Tuesday.

The reports will include records about consumers’ debt levels, financial obligations, credit payments, history of default payments and late payments, an official statement said.

The bureau, first announced last year, was scheduled to start in June, but has faced delays.

It has so far completed the process of uploading six months of credit data and information collected from banks and financial institutions to its system.

Financial bodies will have access to their customers’ most recent credit reports and will be able to evaluate them before making any lending or financial decisions, the statement added.

Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau, said: “The strategic objectives of Al Etihad Credit will be achieved through a multiphase process. The first phase, which will be launched in September, will allow banks and financial institutions to access and purchase existing and potential customers’ credit reports electronically after submitting all the necessary documents.

“Customers will also have access to their credit reports through our soon-to-be-launched customer service centres.”

The bureau is primarily aimed at preventing rampant over-borrowing in the UAE.

Lutfi added: “The issuance of credit reports to banks and financial institutions is an important step in reducing credit losses resulting from non-performing loans and will in turn help individuals and companies to have a deeper understanding of their financial obligations and debt levels.”

The bureau is in the process of uploading customers’ credit information for the past 24 months, in addition to individuals’ Emirates ID details, the statement said.

Up to 5.2 million credit facilities of UAE residents have been added to the bureau’s credit reporting system, representing 97 per cent of the total lending provided by financial bodies in the country, including credit card and loans.

Once operational, experts expect the bureau to cause a dip in borrowing in the short-term, but stress that it will help the UAE’s banking industry over the longer-term.

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