Credit Bureau working to build public confidence in its operations

Chief Executive Officer of the country’s recently launched Credit Bureau, CreditInfo (Guyana) Inc Judy Semple-Joseph has told Stabroek Business that much of the work of the institution in the period ahead will be focused on enhancing public understanding of the role of the Credit Bureau and how it functions.

During an extended interview with Stabroek Business last week, Semple-Joseph and CreditInfo Sales and Marketing Manager David Falconer outlined what Falconer said would be “a multi-stakeholder public outreach programme” that have the twin-purpose of “disseminating information on the work of the bureau and building confidence in the integrity of the institution”.

Falconer said that beyond those assurances which the bureau will itself be seeking to provide, persons need only examine the requisite legislation to determine the “roles and constraints” within which the bureau operates and the assurances regarding the confidentiality of information acquired. A key point here is that the law provides only for the use of such information as is surrendered voluntarily and with “the written permission and instructions” of the person to whom the information pertains, he said.

Under the Credit Reporting Act (2010) the Bank of Guyana is the regulatory body responsible for the issuing and, where applicable, revocation of licences as well as the supervision of Credit Bureau. The legislation provides for the revocation of the bureau’s operating licence if, among other things, its operating practices create situations in which “consumers’ rights and interests are threatened.”

During the interview Semple-Joseph pointed to Section 13(1) of the Act which specifically prohibits a credit information provider from sharing with a credit bureau, “data or information, including electronic data or information collected on a consumer without the consumer’s prior consent.” She pointed out that “the transgression and the penalty is stipulated very clearly under the law and in this instance the bureau is actually required to show proof that the information was acquired within the confines of the law.

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