In June 2007, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Accenture and International Finance Corporation (IFC) joined eight other banks in Nigeria to establish the country’s first credit bureau. The bureau, known as the Credit Reference Company of Nigeria (CRCN), was formally introduced to the financial community in June 2007 at a seminar in Lagos. Other partner banks include Access Bank, Diamond Bank, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), IBTC Chartered Bank, Intercontinental Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. Dun & Bradsheet, a source of commercial information on businesses, will be the technical partner to CRCN. Nigerian authorities expect this new industry initiative to help improve transparency, reduce fraud and improve access to financial and consumer services for poorly served segments of the market. However, it is widely anticipated that it will take at least 18 months before the CRCN will have the kind of customer information that banks need in order to make considered lending decisions.SOURCE: Country Finance


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