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Qatar sets up credit bureau to boost lending oversight

Credit rating bureau for banks, financial firms; Services to later be extended to telecom, insurance firms

March 22, 2011 3:48 by

Qatar’s central bank launched a credit bureau to assess individuals’ credit worthiness and limit lending risks, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The bureau will provide credit report and credit-rating services to banks and finance companies, monitor customer accounts and the financing portfolios of financial institutions, the bank said on its website.

“(The central bank) considers the importance of establishing the Qatar credit information centre to help preparing sound credit policies and taking correct credit decision and reduce the risks of funding,” Central Bank Governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani was quoted as saying in the statement.

The credit services will later be extended to telecommunications and insurance companies, it said.

In December, the United Arab Emirates also established a credit rating office to help banks make better lending decisions.

The global credit crunch exposed borrowing excesses in the UAE, where expatriates and locals alike enjoyed lavish lifestyles helped by easy credit during the oil-fueled boom years.

(Reporting by Regan E. Doherty)

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