Categorized | National News

Senators Apprehensive About Credit Report Bill

Senators met yesterday and debated  the Credit Reporting Bill,  legislation that would ensure a fair and accurate credit reporting system. However,  some Senators  had concerns about the bill.

The ultimate aim of the Credit Reporting Bill is to restore consumer confidence and confidence in the banks to lend money.  While members on both sides of the political divide in  support the bill in principle, there were a few concerns.  Senator Raynard Henfield  expressed concern about the beneficial ownership of a Credit Bureau.

In response to his concern, Attorney General and mover of the bill, Carl Bethel sought to bring some clarity to the concerns.

“The Act is clear, that any single institution or it’s beneficial owner, because we  know we have one  Bahamian bank, clearly has a familial context and so it obviously was designed to capture, where you have a human being having a disproportion, which is an institution who probably has the wherewithal to get shares themselves.

“So, between that person and that bank,  neither of them can own more than five percent of the shares, government,” Mr. Bethel.

While supportive of the Bill, opposition member of parliament Jobeth Coleby-Davis expressed misgivings, charging that implementing the bill would send shockwaves throughout the economy.

“The intent is to have responsible borrowing as the new learned behaviour in The Bahamas.

“Theoretically, in the short term, this process will be more beneficial to the banks as they will now have greater knowledge of the consumer borrowing history,   indebtedness and payment behaviours.

“Therefore, while all will welcome the implementation of Credit Reporting Bill, I query: did the government consider the adjustment process many will face once this bill is passed?

“If yes, then I ask, have the government determined ways to assist the consumer?  Is  there any intended country wide educational campaign to be had with consumers?” Mrs. Coleby-Davis asked.

Debate on the Credit Reporting Bill continues

Written by Jones Bahamas

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