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IFC Helps India’s High Mark Strengthen Credit Reporting to Expand Microfinance Lending


In New Delhi:
Minakshi Seth
Phone: +91 11 4111 1000
E-mail: MSeth@ifc.org

Tanu Chhabra Bahl
Phone: +91 11 4111 1000
E-mail: TBahl@ifc.org


New Delhi, India, October 29, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping India’s High Mark to expand its credit-reporting system in ways that will help strengthen the country’s microfinance sector—by providing lenders with accurate information on their customers’ creditworthiness, which will make it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain a loan.

The initiative will encourage microfinance lenders to use credit bureaus to help them assess the repayment capacity of borrowers, lowering credit risk and helping ensure informed lending. It will address the problem of multiple lending and over-indebtedness among microfinance clients in India. High Mark, India’s fastest-growing credit bureau, aims to add 50 more lenders to its existing credit-information network under the project.

“With IFC’s support, we will develop new products and channels over the next 18 months that will help our member microfinance institutions comply with regulatory requirements, contribute quality data, and make effective use of bureau services,” said Ajay Kohli, High Mark’s Chief Executive Officer.

India’s growing microfinance market is concentrated in just a few states, leading to multiple lending and over-indebtedness within the same borrower base. Accurate credit reporting can help tackle this. Moreover, borrowers can use their repayment history to obtain loans, promoting financial inclusion.

Jennifer Isern, IFC Manager for Access to Finance in South Asia, said, “IFC’s strategy is to help develop a sustainable microfinance sector. The credit bureau will help institutions offer services responsibly and help integrate low-income microfinance customers into the formal financial sector.”

IFC has been working toward improving credit reporting for microfinance in India since 2009.This initiative is in line with IFC’s three-pronged strategy to strengthen this sector through responsible finance, risk management, and improved financial infrastructure. The current project builds on the achievements of an earlier project by IFC that helped launch credit bureau service for microfinance institutions.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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