IFC and Myanmar central bank promote new credit reporting regulation


Myanmar employees handling bank notes at the central bank of Myanmar in Yangon. Photo: AFP

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has successfully supported the Central Bank of Myanmar to develop a regulation for credit reporting—a key step in building up modern financial infrastructures that are necessary to improve access to credit for consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) issued the Regulation on Credit Information Reporting System on March 31, 2017, which provides a basis for the establishment and operations of credit reporting companies, such as credit bureaus, according to a report on April 28.

About 70 officials and representatives from the CBM, relevant government agencies, the Myanmar Banks’ Association, local and international banks, microfinance institutions and other lending agencies, as well as international development partners today attended an event to promote the new regulation. The participants deliberated on the key features of the Myanmar credit reporting regulation and its implications for the lending industry.

“The regulation is fundamental for credit information sharing among the lending institutions through credit bureau, which pools information from various types of creditors and public data sources on individual and business borrowers,” said DawKhin Saw Oo, Deputy Governor of the CBM. “With an effective enabling environment that the enactment of this regulation brings, we hope to see the very first credit bureau come online soon, and eventually a positive change in our credit culture.”

Over the past three years, IFC has worked with the CBM and other key stakeholders on the development and consultation of this new regulation. Among others, it sets up the licensing requirements and operating conditions for credit bureau as well as data protection requirements, consumer rights, and the obligations of data providers, etc. It is considered a progressive regulation in line with international best practices.

“The issuance of the credit reporting regulation represents a key milestone in the economic reform of the country and is also a significant achievement by the CBM,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar. “An effective credit information sharing regime will help increase access to finance for borrowers, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises. This is a critical first step for a move towards interest rate liberalization in Myanmar as it will lead to the adoption of risk based pricing for loans. The WBG will continue to drive significant improvements in Myanmar’s lending market in the future by going on to support secured transaction reform which will allow for movable assets to be utilized as collateral for lending." 

IFC, in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, has been assisting the CBM to develop a comprehensive and modern credit reporting system. IFC will continue to support the central bank to help strengthen its supervisory capability on credit reporting services providers, and educate the public on financial consumer protection and credit information sharing; and to facilitate credible private sector players to make use of the new opportunities in credit reporting development. A priority for IFC in Myanmar is to work with the government and the financial sector to improve access to finance for microentrepreneurs as well as small and medium enterprises so that more segments of society can benefit from the country’s economic growth.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

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