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Myanmar's First Credit Bureau Launches

Myanmar Credit Bureau Limited (MMCB)  announced the official launch of its services to support financial institutions, consumers, and the country’s economic development on December 30. MMCB, Myanmar’s first and only credit bureau, is operating under a license issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar and has implemented a modern credit reporting system to promote responsible lending in the country as well as expand access to financing for individuals and businesses.

Since its soft launch in early-November, MMCB has been centralizing information gathered from its members – financial institutions in Myanmar – about their borrowers. This includes borrowers’ personal and contact information, credit accounts, and repayment history as well as information on any collateral listed to obtain a loan. With this information, the bureau produces credit reports on individuals or corporates to help financial institutions make better lending decisions quickly and objectively.

By sharing accurate credit information, MMCB will help banks better manage lending risks, thereby lowering their credit defaults. This not only improves the profitability of banks operating in Myanmar but allows them to offer financing to other individuals and businesses. Additionally, access to credit reporting will make the lending market more secure and guard it against fraud. In addition, borrowers can expect faster and more competitive services from lenders, since credit assessment checks are efficiently supported by MMCB.

“The formation of Myanmar Credit Bureau Limited is a significant milestone in Myanmar’s economic development journey. For the first time in the country’s history, we can ensure that customer borrowing risk is properly managed through credit-information sharing between financial institutions. By further enhancing the integrity and transparency of Myanmar’s financial sector, we are not only supporting the Central Bank of Myanmar’s goal to enhance the risk management capabilities of the banks but are also expanding access to finance for everyday consumers and small businesses nationwide,” said U Zaw Lin Aung, Chairman of MMCB.

 In addition to consumer and commercial credit reporting, MMCB offers value-added services such as credit monitoring services to regularly track an individual or company’s credit report for any changes that can be linked to fraudulent activity.

The bureau also provides various solutions to spur economic growth such as providing members with industry and data analyses so they can improve lending strategies, sharing recommendations on new credit products, and identifying ways to support small and medium-sized businesses. In collaboration with its members, MMCB will promote financial literacy among the public and encourage a good borrowing culture.

MMCB is a joint venture between MB Investment Limited, which was formed by member banks of the Myanmar Banks Association and NSP Asia Investment Holding Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Credit Bureau Asia Limited (CBA). During the past decade, Singapore-based CBA has set up credit bureau operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia and has leveraged its expertise to ensure that MMCB operates in line with global standards and is utilizing world-class security and technology systems.

“We have applied NSP Asia’s vast experience in establishing and operating credit bureaus across the ASEAN region to help create Myanmar Credit Bureau Limited. This includes implementing best in class technology and global best practices to enable MMCB to provide objective and accurate credit information to financial institutions in Myanmar. Based on our knowledge in the region, credit bureaus enable consumers and businesses to benefit from better access to financing, faster processing of credit applications, quicker disbursement of loans, and greater convenience overall,” said Mr. William Lim, Executive Director of NSP Asia Investment Holding Pte Ltd.

The Central Bank of Myanmar granted a credit bureau license to MMCB on 17 May 2018. MMCB and its members are regulated by the Central Bank of Myanmar and required to adhere to the Regulation on Credit Information Reporting System and a strict Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is aligned to best practice standards from credit bureaus in the region and establishes operating principles that regulate the collection, holding, use, and disclosure of information.

MMCB does not collect information on borrowers’ net worth, assets, or bank deposit amounts. The bureau does not make lending decisions for or on behalf of financial institutions but will allow members to make inquiries on a prospective customer before they approve any form of credit or deciding on whether to sustain the credit granted on an existing loan.

MMCB has implemented a fully customized proprietary credit bureau software system. The system runs on internationally renowned robust systems to ensure that its infrastructure is aligned with global IT risk management standards.

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