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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 2020. See the methodology for more information. Video presentations of the legal rights methodology and the credit information methodology are also available.

Doing Business reforms

Strengthening access to credit

Getting Credit – Credit Information

Worldwide, 14 economies implemented reforms improving their credit information systems in 2019/20. One of the most common types of reforms was expanding the scope of information collected and reported by credit bureau or registry. This was done by five economies: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Sierra Leone. 

Another common reform was improving access to credit information through commencing credit information exchange with retailers and utility providers. This type of improvement was done by Benin, Senegal, Slovenia and Uzbekistan.

Two economies - Guinea and Oman - established a legal framework for new credit bureau operation. 

The first private credit bureau in Barbados, Credit Advice, was established in November of 2017 and began distributing credit reports in July of 2019. The introduction of regulations that govern the licensing and functioning of credit bureaus made business easier in Barbados. Therefore, Barbados improved access to credit information and is now eligible for scoring.

Getting Credit – Legal Rights

15 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. The registry should also have modern features which 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. Following international good practices, economies such as Benin, Ethiopia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Fiji launched such registries in 2019/20.

In 2019/20 Saudi Arabia, 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.


Reforms implemented in 2019/20 are available here.

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