Watching Brief

Oct 29, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s credit information bureau has got new powers to track utility bills, insurance and pension fund payments, under an amendment to its law passed in parliament. Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) officials said the legal amendments and modernisation of its information system will enable it to collect information on any loan taken by companies or individuals.

Till now, the CRIB was limited to collecting information on loans over 500,000 rupees.

The legal changes are meant to improve the island’s credit culture and reduce the lapse rate which has been historically high.

The Credit Information Bureau amendment act enables the bureau to collect information on payments to utility services like water, electricity and telephones, apart from loans given by banks and financial institutions.

The CRIB will now also be able to monitor and collect information on those who default on compulsory contributions required to be made to state and private pension funds as well as insurance premiums.

The bureau official said he believes at least 100 new members will become shareholders of CRIB with the amendments to the act in order to make use of its services