Monday, July 25, 2016

Licensed Credit Reference Bureaus
The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed the following Credit Reference Bureaus whose details are:

Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau Limited 
Physical Address: Spark Suites, Suite 12, 2nd Floor, Parklands Road, Nairobi
Postal Address: P.O. Box 38941 – 00623, Parklands
Email: info@creditinfo.co.ke
Date Licensed: 29th April 2015
Credit Reference Bureau Africa Limited t/a TransUnion
Physical Address: 2nd floor, Prosperity House, Westlands Road, Off Museum Hill, Westlands
Postal Address: P.O. Box 46406, 00100 NAIROBI, KENYA
Telephone: +254 730 651 000
Fax: +254 (0) 20 3751344
Email: info@transunion.co.ke
Website: www.transunionafrica.com
Date Licensed: 9th February 2010
Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited 
Physical Address: 1st Floor, Shelter Afrique Centre, Upper Hill, Nairobi
Postal Address: P.O. Box 35331, 00200 NAIROBI, KENYA
Telephone: +254 (0) 20 2689881
Mobile: +254 727 413 733/ 732 774 666
Customer Service Centre: 9th Floor, Barclays Plaza, Loita St. Nairobi
Tel: +254 709 834000
Email: creditbureau@metropol.co.ke
Website: www.metropol.co.ke
Date Licensed: 11th April 2011

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CREDIT REPORTS IN KENYA - METROPOL CORPORATION VS. CRB AFRICA (TRANSUNION)

Last month I made a deliberate attempt to obtain my annual free  credit report from the two licensed credit references bureaus Metropol and Transunion (Central Bank has since licensed a third – Creditinfo CRB Ltd).I did discover that it is surprisingly easy and hassle free to obtain reports from the two bureaus. 

From Metropol, I used their mobile phone based Crystobol product accessed through *433# which Metropol has been promoting the product it in the media extensively in recent times. After paying Kshs 100 to their paybill number a code was promptly sent to me which enabled me to access the report from their website. The *433# has other options including ‘Clearance certificate’ and ‘Borrow money’!

For Transunion, I downloaded the Individual Credit Report Request from their website www.crbafrica.com filled it in and sent it to them after 5p.m. By 9 am the following day, the report had been sent to my email with a note that I could obtain a clearance letter if I paid KShs2200 via MPESA pay bill. It is worth noting that the company seems to have two websites at the same time the other being transunionafrica.com. 

Both reports have similar content such as open and closed performing and non performing accounts, credit applications of up to 180 days, bounced cheques and reasons thereof and actual account balances in all the accounts. Accounts in dispute are also listed. For reasons I am yet to determine the Metropol report was up to date up to March 2015, the Transunion report was last updated in June 2014 which leaves a huge reporting gap. From my observation, it is theoretically possible to obtain a clearance report from one bureau even if listed on the other and vice versa.

The glaring difference between the two reports however is how the information is presented, the Metrolpol report seems more user friendly than Transunion. Metropol have gone further and have assigned a score to the report payment profile index. The score Metro-Score ranges from 100 (defaulter) to 900 (excellent payer) while the payment profile index ranges from M1 to M9. 
In my opinion, it would be useful if all the credit reference bureaus assigned scores for uniformity and comparison and probably do away with the need to have absolute account balances on the credit reports like happens in the developed world. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

CREDITINFO CREDIT REFERENCE BUREAU KENYA

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted a licence to Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau Kenya Limited to offer credit information sharing services in Kenya. Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) Kenya Limited becomes the third credit reference bureau to be licensed in Kenya after Credit Reference Bureau Africa Limited and Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited which were licensed in February 2010 and April 2011 respectively. 

Creditinfo CRB Kenya Limited is majorly owned by Creditinfo International GmbH, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany. It has credit information sharing operations in fifteen other countries including Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Malta, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Iceland, Jamaica, Cape Verde, Tanzania and Guyana. Creditinfo International GmbH offers credit information services as well as customer support in risk management. 

In Kenya, the establishment of credit reference bureaus is governed by the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013. The Regulations, issued under the Banking Act and Microfinance Act (2006), empower the Central Bank of Kenya to licence and supervise credit reference bureaus (CRBs) in Kenya. CRBs in Kenya are authorized to receive credit information from institutions licensed under the Banking Act and Microfinance Act (2006) as well as other approved third party data sources. 

Credit information sharing in Kenya’s banking sector was rolled out in July 2010. Commercial banks then commenced submitting negative credit information on their borrowers to the licensed credit reference bureau in August 2010. Between August 2010 and January 2014 commercial banks were mandated to submit only negative credit information through the licensed CRBs. In 2013, the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations were amended to allow all commercial banks and microfinance banks to submit full file credit information (both positive and negative information) to the licensed CRBs effective 28th February 2014. A credit reference bureau receives, collates, compiles and disseminates to authorised users, information on borrowers’ credit histories from approved data sources. 

Since August 2010 to 31st March 2015, commercial banks and microfinance banks have accessed 5,609,725 credit reports whereas individual customers have accessed 96,245 credit reports. Under the Credit Reference Bureau Regulations, 2013, individuals are entitled to one free personal credit report per year from any licensed credit reference bureau. Enhanced services are accessible on commercial terms. 

Source: Central Bank of Kenya Press release.