This topic covers two aspects of access to finance—the strength of credit reporting systems and the effectiveness of collateral and bankruptcy laws in facilitating lending. The most recent round of data collection for the project was completed in May 2019. See the methodology and webinar for more information.

Doing Business reforms

Strenghtening access to credit

Getting Credit – Credit Information

Worldwide, 23 economies implemented reforms improving their credit information systems in 2018/19. One of the most common feature of reforms was the expansion of the coverage of individuals and firms by credit registries and bureaus. This type of reform was carried out in six developing countries including Niger, Togo and Senegal. These three economies are members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). Each of them passed local laws enabling the recently established credit bureau, Creditinfo VoLo, to collect broader historical data. Niger and Togo also adopted regulations that allow public utility companies to submit customer data to the credit bureau, further raising the coverage of the bureau beyond 5% of the economy’s adult population.

Similarly, Nepal expanded the coverage of the credit registry by requiring all licensed microfinance institutions to submit their credit data while Haiti expanded the registry coverage by collecting credit data from public development banks and finance corporations, such as leasing companies.

Other economies including the members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) improved access to credit information through the introduction of regulations that govern the licensing and functioning of credit bureaus. Similarly, in December 2018, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community improved access to credit information by establishing a framework  for the licensing and functioning of credit bureaus.

The introduction of credit scores as a value-added service was another common feature of reforms making it easier to get credit in 2018/19. Credit bureaus in Mauritania and Kyrgyz Republic collaborated with the international credit bureau, Creditinfo International, to develop credit scoring services. In the Middle East and North Africa, the credit bureau in Jordan implemented credit scoring systems in consultation with the international bureau CRIF.

Getting Credit – Legal Rights

Also, 9 economies have pursued reforms to facilitate access to credit for businesses. Over a half of these reformers created unified and functional systems for secured transactions or expanded the scope of movable assets that can be used as collateral. To ensure effectiveness of secured transaction systems, a geographically centralized collateral registry must unify all types of movable assets, including their functional equivalents. It should also be notice-based to allow for simplicity in registration and broad categorization of assets. Following international good practices, Djibouti, Jordan and Tajikistan launched such registries in 2018/19. Three economies, Kenya, Jordan and Tajikistan even went a step further by introducing online modern features to the collateral registry. These electronic registries enable all registrations, modifications and cancellations of security interests in movable assets to be performed through an e-platform, freely accessible to a wide audience. Six economies including Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe established that secured creditors are repaid prior to tax and labor claims outside of bankruptcy.

In 2018/19 Jordan, the top improver on the legal rights indicators, strengthened access to credit by introducing a new secured transactions law, by setting up a new collateral registry and by introducing amendments to the insolvency law. The new laws implemented a functional secured transactions system, broadened the scope of assets that can be used as collateral and provided a time limit and clear grounds for relief from the automatic stay for secured creditors during reorganization procedures. The collateral registry is also unified, modern and notice-based.

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Reforms implemented in 2018/19 are available here.

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Summaries of reforms by economy, since DB2008:

= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. = Change making it more difficult to do business.