Credit reform is well underway in the UAE with a dedicated government agency becoming fully operational.  , has completed the first phase of its operational rollout after multiple delays leading up to its launch.

This phase included uploading 24 months of credit data from banks and financial institutions operating in the UAE to its database and it has got 90 per cent of the consumer credit data that was provided to it in the last 24 months.

The credit bureau, which became operational in September and formally launched in November, has begun issuing credit reports for Residents and Nationals citizens alike.  Individuals can now obtain their credit report online or at customer service centres in Dubai or Abu Dhabi against a fee.

“As of now, both financial institutions and UAE residents are able to obtain credit reports with a data accuracy rating of 99.5 per cent,” said Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau.

“These credit reports will help individuals to understand their debt levels and have a clearer picture of their financial obligations. This will in turn enhance their ability to plan for future borrowing, and manage their finances responsibly.”

Credit reports will also help banks and financial institutions assess risk accurately and enable them to make informed decisions, he added.

Al Etihad Credit Bureau is now preparing to launch its second stage of operations, this time for the benefit of business.

“This includes issuing credit reports on all companies operating in the UAE, bounced cheque details and telecommunications companies’ payment information for the past 24 months,” said Lutfi.

“We will announce the launch of other services in the future, which will be implemented over various phases. Specific dates will be announced early next year.”

Its database will include information for 2.8 mn persons, that is 97 per cent of the total credit active population of the UAE.

However, the credit bureau’s launch has not been without challenges, Lutfi noted.

Earlier this year, the agency said that just two out of about 70 banks had sent the data required to compile reports, thus delaying the launch, but despite that all banks have largely been cooperative, he added.