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 Press release - Credit Bureau Seminar (ACDIVOCA)

 Press release date: 02.05.2006



May 1, 2006
SME Support through Financial Sector Development
ACDI/VOCA Implemented Project
Office: 598-1243/44

US-funded Project Holds Seminar on Credit Registry System in Azerbaijan


USAID initiated the new SME Support through Financial Sector Development Project in Azerbaijan in September 2005 and entrusted its realization to ACDI/VOCA, the US non-profit international organization that has a broad experience in development of SMEs around the world.

As the project aims at improving the legal and regulatory environment for non-bank financial institutions working in Azerbaijan, the seminar "Credit Registries in Azerbaijan: What is Next?" was held on April 26, 2006 in International Press Center, Baku. Officials from government agencies, banks, NBFIs and donor organizations gathered in order to discuss legal and regulatory obstacles that Azerbaijani financial community encounters now, ways to improve investment climate for these organizations as well as to adopt international best practices in this field.

Roger Nye, project`s Senior Credit Registry Specialist who spent three weeks in Azerbaijan assessing the central credit registry (CCR) run by the National Bank of Azerbaijan, presented his findings to the audience. He described the overall benefits of a sound credit registry for lenders, borrowers, country's financial system and the whole economy. Although there are some fears in transitional economies among lenders and borrowers that their sensitive financial information can be misused, the experience shows that positive effects that such credit registry offers for the financial system outweigh all possible doubts.

According to him, several CIS countries like Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan even established private credit registries recently, because the role of the public credit registry (i.e. one operating under the state control) is to supervise the stability of financial system of the country in question, while private credit registries can more efficiently gather and disseminate information on private borrowers.

At the same time, this process should not be hurried up because the current Azerbaijani credit registry system is capable of self-improvement. Mr. Nye told the participants about some possible amendments to the CCR, such as a "black list" of bad borrowers; an "early warning system" if a borrower starts missing payments at any bank, etc.

Muhammad Junaid, Chief of Party of the project, told the audience that the project will continue its efforts to bring international best practices into the financial system of Azerbaijan.


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