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EghtesadOnline: Banks must concentrate on the credit rating of customers when studying loan requests, the Central Bank of Iran’s head of information department said.

“Lenders are obliged to make thorough inquiries about the credibility of the loan applicants,”Mahboub Sadeqi was quoted as saying by IBENA. 

Record of past loans, the borrowers’ check transaction performance and even their performance in paying traffic fines and utility bills in a timely manner are among the criteria for assessing the credit profile of borrowers, the official said.

Pointing to the longstanding precedent of using credit-rating assessment as a basis for lending around the world, Sadeqi said “the process should help ease the guarantee requirement for borrowers if properly implemented.”

Some banks have started “pilot lending” based on customers’ credibility background for small loans, he said. 

“Currently banks give an estimated 1 million loans a month. Effective credibility assessment will help in increasing access to banking facilities for people with acceptable credibility status.”

Under the new framework, banks will limit the access of deadbeat clients even if they put up collateral with banks but failed to settle their debts on timely manner in the past. 

 

Sadeqi said loan applicants who are not fully aware whether they are eligible or not, can make online inquiries on their credibility status at mycredit.ir website. 

He said more than 44 million ID numbers have been registered with the platform and it can report on the credibility status of 34 million bank customers. “Almost three million people make inquiries via the platform every month,” he said.     

The issue of credit rating has gained more traction as an increasing number of big defaulters has led to the emergence of unhealthy and failing banks. 

The CBI says in the absence of robust supervision and lack of a centralized data bank in the past, banks tended to grant loans without proper checks and balances, which has resulted in large volume of NPLs.  

To increase oversight on lending the CBI said it has designed a system that accesses data banks and allows direct interaction among bank branches, sharing customer data and enabling lenders to better monitor the qualification of borrowers. 

Dubbed as “Samat”, the system gives online access to all banks to data about borrowers lending profile, issued bank guarantees and outstanding debts. 

“The system will maximize transparency in lending and help cut risks to the banking system,” the CBI said.

Samat updates the credibility of deadbeat customers on a daily basis and relays data to bank branches across the country. 

With such measures, the CBI says it is striving to improve the credit risk of banks and help them improve their balance sheets.   

 

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