Big Slap

July 3, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Bureau or CRIB has warned all banks to come clean and name large scale defaulters or risk paying a fine or prison term. Central Bank’s deputy governor Ranee Jayamaha says CRIB has warned errant banks to expect a fine of 50,000 rupees each for not disclosing influential defaulters.

“We see lots of smaller people who have not paid up making it into the CRIB list, but the bigger names don’t come up that often,” says Jayamaha, who is also CRIBs chairperson.

Affluent borrowers like multinational companies, large corporates, highly connected borrowers and the banks’ preferred customers are often not reported to CRIB even if they default altogether.

“Some of the credit profiles of bigger defaulters remain clean showing regular payments as banks are keen to protect their image,” she said.

Established in the mid-1980s when the some finance companies crashed, CRIB shares reports on willful defaulters with other financial institutions based on information sent in by lenders.

“Though information is voluntary, our Act says that lenders who fail to submit all names of defaulters face a maximum fine of 100,000