2.3m more seek services of CRBs

Credit Referencing Bureaus (CRBs) were at their busiest last year as Kenyans sought their services in record numbers.

A new report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that lenders and customers increased the use of credit sharing platforms by 88 per cent as the need for a positive credit record history becomes a critical component of job and loan applications.

In its annual report and financial statements for financial year 2017/2018, the regulator noted that there were an additional 2.3 million credit report requests from lenders and customers between July 2017 and June last year, with commercial banks making the most requests.

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Of the 4.9 million credit report requests made in June year, up from 2.6 million in the same period in 2017, 94 per cent were by commercial banks, signalling increased demand for credit after a ceiling on interest rates significantly brought down the price of loans.

Customers, on the other hand, increased their request for credit reports by 81 per cent to 138,026, from 76,124 in the previous financial year.

This is considering that a positive report by a CRB tops the long list of clearance certificates job seekers are required to obtain when applying for both public and private employment.

“The 81 per cent increased uptake of credit reports by customers is an indication of increased requirement for credit reports, including in the vetting of public officers and private sector hiring,” read part of the CBK report.

The financial regulator noted that credit information sharing mechanism had become a key input in the decision-making process of credit providers in the country keen on mitigating risks associated with lack of information on borrowers.

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Credit reports requested by microfinance banks increased by 77 per cent to 195,62.

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