Qatar expected to launch national credit bureau this year

27 March 2014

Initiative is aimed at monitoring domestic banks’ risk exposure

Qatar could launch a national credit bureau by the end of 2014, two Doha-based finance industry sources say.

The agency will mainly be aimed at monitoring Qatar-based banks’ activities to identify their risk exposures.

“Banks have been providing the central bank with data on their transactions for years, which will be used by the agency to determine risk ratings on borrowers and ensure that the banks are not overextending themselves,” says a source.

The initiative, which mirrors similar plans by UAE authorities to launch a credit bureau by the second quarter of 2014, is part of Qatar Central Bank’s focus on ensuring financial stability. In recent months it has unveiled several initiatives meant to reduce public debt, with more underway including a limit on cross-border lending and lowering banks’ loan-to-deposit ratios.

In December 2013, Qatar’s three main regulatory agencies published their Strategic Plan for Financial Sector Regulation until 2016 to strengthen its risk-based regulation. Its final Basel III circular, which sets out capital, liquidity, and leverage ratios, was issued in January 2014.

Qatar Central Bank could not be reached for comment.

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