Kingston, November 22, 2019

CRIF sponsors the “Partnership for SME Empowerment Workshop 2A” event in Jamaica

On November 22, CRIF Information Bureau Jamaica sponsored the “Partnership for SME Empowerment Workshop 2A” event, in Kingston.

Terrence Cooper, CRIF Managing Director, Robert Gordon, CRIF Operations Manager, and Denise Shand, CRIF Business Development Manager, attended the event.

The workshop, facilitated by the Private Sector Organization Jamaica (PSOJ) in partnership with the Economic Growth Council (EGC), and sponsored in part by CIBJ, aimed to include SMEs by asking all stakeholders to include financial institutions, credit bureaus, government entities, EXIM bank, and the Development Bank of Jamaica to design products and facilities - “Fit for Purpose” -directed at SMEs.

The event was aimed at highlighting the importance of building an improved SME Credit Rating System in the country. SME business is critical to the growth of the Jamaican economy, and for this reason, banks have decided to make the financial community more accessible, more conducive, and more open to this segment.

Credit bureaus have been charged with building a world class credit reporting system in Jamaica to facilitate easier access to credit for SMEs. Mr. Cooper indicated that the Credit Reporting Act 2010 does not provide for the mandatory sharing of data and that, out of all the active CIPs signed up to the CRIF credit bureau, 40% are currently not reporting. Mr. Cooper emphasised that reciprocity in credit reporting is critical to levelling the playing field for all credit providers.

“CRIF Information Bureau Jamaica will play a significant role in facilitating this initiative, and we have asked for all entities granting credit facilities to SMEs, including retail, microfinance and FIs, to be obliged by the Central Bank to submit their information to the credit reporting system”, Robert Gordon stated.

“The workshop really helped bring attention to the importance of the credit bureau and credit reporting in enabling access to finance in the SME sector by financial institutions”, commented Denise Shand.

The workshop was a great opportunity to emphasize the importance of credit reporting, as credit bureaus with more data could build credit reports that more accurately reflect defaults and payment history, which will in turn enable better credit underwriting by financial institutions.