KINGSTON: At least one of the entities that have been granted licences to operate in Jamaica as credit bureaus could start up by the end of the 2012/13 fiscal year.
The announcement was recently made by Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) governor, Brian Wynter, at the bank’s quarterly meeting.
The government, through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, has granted licences to two entities – Creditinfo Jamaica Limited, and CRIFF NM Credit Assure Limited – to operate credit bureaus locally, since the passage of the Credit Reporting Act and related Regulations, between 2010 and 2011.
“We are expecting at least one of them, if not both, to begin operations before the end of the year,” said Wynter. “That’s our expectation at the moment, based on what they have been doing, and the various steps required to commence.”
The Act and Regulations provide the legal framework for the establishment of credit bureaus in Jamaica, and the sharing of credit information between specified bodies. The BoJ, which is the designated supervisory and regulatory agency, has responsibility for reviewing applications and making recommendations to the Minister of Finance and Planning.
Deputy Governor, Gayon Hosin, who also spoke at the BoJ meeting, said a third application was submitted recently by another entity, and is currently being reviewed.
“We also have indications of others, with intent (to apply),” she said. “So, we expect, based on what we have been advised, that there will be others.”
Hosin said the duration of the application review process will take a relatively short period of time, once the application includes all of the relevant information required.
Hosin said the process has been fairly engaging so far, as the process is new to Jamaica. As a result, the BoJ has been flexible in accommodating applicants by facilitating them with a reasonable amount of additional time to complete the attendant antecedents.
“So, rather than refuse an application outright (because it may be missing certain information), we indicate what more is needed, once the application comes in the format that is required under the law,” she said.