Discussing Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) suggestions for the development of the Credit Registry System (CRS), which PMA supervises together with its users that include banks and specialized lending institutions, a seminar was conducted by the Consumer’s Relation and Market Conduct Department at PMA. The seminar was opened by Jihad al-Wazir, Governor of PMA; Jozeph Nesnas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks in Palestine (ABP) and Alaa Sisalem, Representative of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Network for Small and Microfinance “Sharakeh”. Attending were heads of IT and banking facilities departments from banks and lending institutions as well as the international expert representing International Monetary Fund (IMF) Jim Aziz, who helped launch the CRS. Owing to the vital role of CRS in reducing credit risk, facilitating credit-granting and achieving sustainable development, the seminar was held to address the proposed developments and updates to the system in order streamline and improve its use.
In his opening speech, Al-Wazir explained that “upon examination of international principles of credit systems, one can say that the Palestinian credit registry, fully developed with local expertise, ranks as one of the most effective credit registries worldwide, judging by its remarkably accurate and top-rated functionalities”. Al-Wazir added that “this achievement would not have been possible without a true partnership between PMA, the banking sector and the Association of Banks in Palestine; an achievement worthy of celebration”. Al-Wazir revealed that PMA has recently collaborated with the Bank of Algeria to exchange expertise in this respect and it will soon be providing technical assistance to other Arab Central Banks in the area of credit database development.
Jozeph Nesnas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABP, discussed the difficulties experienced by banks prior to the establishment of the credit database which hindered their ability to assess borrowers’ payment histories and handlings of credit obligations in a manner that encourages lending and permits finely-tuned credit decisions; ultimately adversely affecting bank credit offerings and the promotion of economic development. The establishment of a credit database has helped banks overcome this problem, promoting the extension of credit and consequently promoting development.
On behalf of “Sharakeh”, Alaa Sisalem commended the role of the credit database in organizing the credit-granting of specialized lending institutions. He reviewed the advantages of the credit database in providing incentives for borrowers to meet their obligations, knowing that the database will identify them as compliant thus facilitating future loans. He added that lending institutions are increasingly relying on the credit database to handle credit requests, which has contributed to the control of credit risks and the facilitation of approval of borrowers. Sisalem called for further development of CRS to include database search and investigation using cell-phones to enhance business efficiency in Palestine
Ali Faroun, Director of PMA Consumer Relations and Market Conduct Department, gave an introductory presentation on CRS and CRS-related accomplishments of past years. Following a second presentation on PMA propositions to comprehensively and effectively develop the system, participants provided feedback and suggestions to be considered in the upcoming development process which will be commencing shortly.