Credit bureaus to be regulated

05 Jun 2013 08:00
WINDHOEK, 05 JUN (NAMPA) - The Director of Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development at the Bank of Namibia (BoN) says the drafting of a policy for the regulation of credit bureaus in the country has commenced.
Ndangi Katoma was responding to remarks made by the Namibia Bank and Allied Workers Union (NBWU) last week that TransUnion ITC and Compuscan, both credit bureaus, are operating in Namibia illegally and are not regulated.
Speaking here on Wednesday, Katoma said it is a fact that currently in Namibia, there is no law regulating credit bureaus? activities and therefore, the BoN undertook a study and recommended that they be regulated.
The drafting of regulations to that effect has already started, he added.
He explained that the fact that there is no law regulating credit bureaus? activities in Namibia should however not be construed as making the business operations of credit bureaus in Namibia illegal, unless they are not registered as business entities as required by the law.
?In this regard, Namibia has recognised the importance of consumer protection in general and in the financial sector in particular, as an important financial inclusion element that requires some reform,? he noted.
According to Katoma, the Namibia Financial Sector Strategy was launched in 2012 by the Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. It entails required reforms and strategic outcomes in this regard.
He said it has however been confirmed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry that TransUnion and Compuscan are registered as business entities, adding that their business operations are thus conducted in terms of the Companies Act, 2004 (Act 28 of 2004).
In the meantime, if there is any evidence that TransUnion and Compuscan do not comply with the provisions of the Companies Act under which they are registered, or any other law in Namibia, such contravention should be reported to the Ministry of Trade and Industry or law enforcement agencies.
The Bank of Namibia has not received a letter from the NBWU or any other person regarding the legal standing of TransUnion and Compuscan in Namibia.
Meanwhile, the union has called on the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) and the BoN to ban TransUnion ITC and Compuscan from operating in Namibia.
Both Transunion ITC and Compuscan are South African credit bureaus, providing consumer and commercial credit information within South Africa and in other African countries, including Namibia.
The Secretary-General of the NBWU, Lawrence Ihuhua said during a media briefing last week that these credit registers have no legal standing under the Namibian Constitution.
He said the ?blacklisting? of people in Namibia has led to financial discrimination against workers as they do not have access to banking facilities, such as personal loans and overdrafts.