President Peter Mutharika has assented to the revised Credit Reference Act following approval of its amendments in Parliament on November 17, 2015.
The amendment to the act, which was initially enacted in 2010, was aimed at freeing institutions such as banks to provide information of clients to Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) without running the risk of breaching bankclient confidentiality.
Since the law was first enacted in 2010, commercial banks have been arguing that it is not mandatory for them to provide clients’ information or seek such information from the bureaus.
Reacting to the development , Credi t Data’s managing director Patricia Mwase – who has been at the forefront championing the enactment and review of the law, said the presidential assent now makes the bill a law and will make credit reference bureaus functional.
“The overall winner is the honest hardworking Malawian who will now be able to negotiate for lower interest charges if their credit reports are good,” said Mwase.
She said the law will also help improve the doing business environment in the country.
The Office of President and Cabine t (OPC) has since directed all government entities as well as local councils to start cooperating and providing necessarily information to Credit Reference Bureaus in the country.
The Credit Reference Bureaus Act is expected to to help in scrutinising and certifying individuals and companies before they are given loans by banks and other money lending institutions.
However, the CRBs faced resistance from banks before the review of the Act.