About Credit Reference Bureau Kenya – CBB Kenya
Credit Reference Bureaus – CRB in Kenya complement the central role played by banks and other financial institutions in extending financial services within an economy. CRBs help lenders make faster and more accurate credit decisions. They collect, manage and disseminate customer information to lenders with in a provided regulatory framework – in Kenya, the Banking (Credit Reference Bureau) Regulations, 2008 which was operationalised effective 2nd February 2009.
Credit histories not only provide necessary input for credit underwriting, but also allow borrowers to take their credit history from one financial institution to another, thereby making lending markets more competitive and, in the end, more affordable. Credit bureaus assist in making credit accessible to more people, and enabling lenders and businesses reduce risk and fraud. Sharing of information between financial institutions in respect of customer credit behavior, therefore, has a positive economic impact.
Banks play a central role in extending financial services within an economy. In support of this role, credit bureaus help lenders make faster and more accurate credit decisions.
Background of Credit Reference Bureau Kenya
The Kenyan banking sector was in the 80’s and 90’s saddled with a momentous Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) portfolio. This invariably led to the collapse of some banks. One of the catalysts in this scenario were “Serial defaulters”, who borrowed from various banks with no intention of repaying the loans. Undoubtedly these defaulters thrived in the “information asymmetry” environment that prevailed due to lack of a credit information sharing mechanism.
The Banking (Credit Reference Bureau) Regulations 2008, will govern licensing, operation and supervision of CRBs by the Central Bank of Kenya. The development of a sustainable information sharing industry is therefore recognized as a key component of financial sector reforms in almost all developing and emerging economies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Reference Bureau Kenya – CRB Kenya
What is the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) ?
Credit Reference Bureau Limited (CRB) is an information solutions company. It uses the power of information to assist its subscribers to target prospective customers, manage existing trade relationships and identify opportunities for profitable growth.
What role does CRB play in our economy?
CRB, Kenya’s largest credit reference bureau provides factual credit, identity and location information to businesses – for example banks, credit card companies, finance institutions and commercial enterprise.- to assist them in making accurate and responsible decisions when companies or individuals apply for cash or goods and services on credit. CRB also helps creditors guard against fraud, which is a growing and serious problem that ultimately affects all consumers.
What is credit reference information?
The information provided by CRB comes from many sources but falls into two main categories – public domain information and credit experiences:
- Public Domain Information: Electoral Roll, Telephone & Postal Directory information, Court Judgments, Bankruptcies
- Payment Performance Information: CRB subscribers share with each other details of their credit experiences.
To achieve this, they store details of these experiences with CRB as an independent and objective entity. This allows them to enquire, when a company or an individual applies for credit, how the credit applicant has performed on other subscribers’ credit facilities in the past.
Who owns the Credit Reference Bureau information?
The relative subscriber owns all credit information submitted to CRB. CRB simply acts as a confidential information sharing mechanism in the compilation and administration of the subscriber’s information.
Can anyone look at the Credit Reference Bureau?
No. All credit information is private and confidential. Only CRB subscribers have access to the information and then must abide by the strict CRB Terms & Conditions that clearly define the purpose for which the information may be used.
What type of information does CRB hold?
The information held is only applicable to factual historical payment performance experiences and is therefore limited to information that is relevant to that. CRB does not hold information about race, tribe, religion or political persuasion. Neither does it hold credit balance information relating to current bank accounts or savings accounts, etc.
Does CRB tell creditors whom to give credit?
No. CRB does not make any credit decisions. It provides factual information only but does not express any opinion about the information provided. CRB is not even told how the information it provides has affected a creditor’s decision or whether an application for credit has been granted or declined.
What if the credit reference bureau information is disputed?
If you dispute any credit experience information held on your credit file, you need to contact the creditor directly. CRB cannot amend credit account information without the subscriber’s express authorization. So contacting the creditor directly is the most efficient way of sorting out any dispute. If you cannot resolve the disputed information with the creditor, you have the right to add a notice to your credit file. This is a statement of up to 100 words in which you can explain or expand upon the information held and which CRB will help you write at your request. CRB then incorporates the notice within your credit report. This ensures that prospective creditors read your notice in any future credit enquiries.
What if the public domain information is incorrect?
In the case of an error in the public domain information held on your credit file, it is not in your interest, or the creditor, or CRB that such information is incorrect. If you consider that any public domain information is not correct, please contact CRB who will ensure that the updated information is verified and any error rectified immediately.
How long does information remain on the credit reference bureau file?
Credit information is recorded for seven (7) years from the date of listing or settlement depending on the legal jurisdiction
Can you view the information held by CRB?
Yes. If you have been denied credit due to information held on your CRB credit report you may obtain a copy of your report free of charge. Contact CRB Customer Services for further information on how to obtain a free copy of your CRB Credit Report.
What happens if you lose your credit rating?
Losing your credit rating can have serious and almost immediate consequences on your ability to obtain credit and, in certain circumstances, maintain existing credit facilities amongst creditors such as, banks, credit card, insurance, manufacturing and service organizations nationwide. It is therefore in your interest to maintain a positive credit rating by ensuring that all of your financial obligations are honoured when due.
Is it possible to regain a positive credit rating?
Yes, if you have generated an adverse credit rating, CRB will assist you, where possible, in recovering your credit standing in the business community. Call or write to CRB Customer Services Department at the address shown above for further details.
Licensed Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) In Kenya And Their Contacts
The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed the following Credit Reference Bureaus whose details are:
Credit Reference Bureau Africa Limited
Physical Address: CRB Centre, Prosperity House, Westlands Road, Off Museum Hill, Westlands
Postal Address: P.O. Box 46406, 00100 NAIROBI, KENYA
Telephone: +254 (0) 20 3751799/3751360/2/4/5
Fax: +254 (0) 20 3751344
Date Licensed: 9th February 2010
Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited
Physical Address: 1st Floor, Shelter Afrique Centre, Upper Hill, Nairobi
Postal Address: P.O. Box 35331, 00200 NAIROBI, KENYA
Telephone: +254 (0) 20 2689881/27113575
Mobile: +254 727 413 733/ 732 774 666
Fax: +254 (0) 20 273572
Date Licensed: 11th April 2011