The Bank of Ghana says it is working to introduce mobile payments for persons interested in making checks on the collateral registry.
The registry was established under the lenders and borrowers act to facilitate access to finance through secured lending.
Speaking at the launch of the financial literacy and awareness campaign on credit reporting system and collateral registry, the Deputy Registrar, for the Collateral Registry Department at the Bank of Ghana, Fred Asiamah Koranteng said the Bank is in talks with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) to introduce mobile payments to make the registry more accessible.
Mr Asiamah Koranteng said, “We are working to improve upon our payment methods when it comes to the prepaid which is for you and me, people have to go to the bank of Ghana to pay then get a code before getting to the registry for the search.
We agree it’s inefficient. So we are in discussions with NITA to assist us so that moving forward, wherever you are, you can use your mobile phone to pay for the services of the registry,” he said.
The financial literacy and awareness campaign on credit reporting system is aimed at educating the public on the nation’s credit systems to facilitate access to credit.
On his part, Godfred Cudjoe from the financial stability department of the Bank of Ghana further encouraged individuals to check their credit reports to enhance their eligibility for loans.
“We entreat everyone to visit the credit reference bureau and obtain a free credit report on yourself because you need to be aware of your records with the banks. Gone are the days when you can go for alone and not pay and think you have gone scot free. This time it's not so,” he said
Mr Cujoe explained that non-payment of loans would mean that an individual will be unable to acquire loans from other banks.
What is the Collateral Registry?
The Collateral Registry is a body established by Parliament under the Borrowers and Lenders Act, 2008 [Act 773] to principally register charges and collaterals created by borrowers to secure credit facilities provided by lenders.
The Registry is a response to the many difficulties in Ghana’s credit Market. Small firms and consumers are typically constrained when it comes to accessing credit due to a lack of transparency and deficiencies in identification systems.
Prior to the Registry, lenders had no effective means of searching for prior charges if any, on collateral[s]presented to them for credit. The result is the numerous and winding litigations in courts as well as a hike in the rate of non performing loans recorded in the books of lenders.
The existence of a reliable database on all collaterals now makes borrowing easier by improving disclosure and transparency between lenders and borrowers.
Small firms and consumers can now also utilize most of their movable assets as collateral.
Since the introduction of the collateral registry system, statistics by the bank of Ghana has revealed that loan defaults for lending institutions have reduced.
What are credit referencing bureaus?
Credit Reference Bureaus are licensed by the bank of Ghana to gather and maintains data on the credit history of individuals, businesses and organizations, and makes this information available to relevant users ie creditors.
In Ghana, there are three credit reference bureaus ie XDS data Ghana Limited, Hudson price data solution and Dun and Bradstreet.
Lenders use information from the bureaus to determine the credit-worthiness of a potential borrower.
Banks are basically the major consumers of the information provided by the Credit Reference Bureaus however it’s important that individuals check their credit history at least once a year.
The financial literacy and awareness campaign, on credit reporting system and collateral registry, is being carried out by the Bank of Ghana in collaboration with the World Bank Group, The International Finance Corporation and the Frankfurt school of business and Management.