Mon | Sep 25, 2017

CRIF acquires full ownership of local credit bureau

Published:Wednesday | March 15, 2017 | 3:00 AMTameka Gordon
Terrence Cooper, CEO of CRIF NM Credit Assure Limited.

 

International credit bureau operator CRIF SpA has bought out Massy Group's stake in CRIF NM Credit Assure Limited to take full ownership of the Jamaican business they launched around six years ago.

Through Massy Technologies InfoCom Jamaica (MTIJ), the Trinidadian conglomerate owned 51 per cent of CRIF NM.

However, the minority partner thought it "would be in the best interest of the company, Jamaica and the region if CRIF was to have 100 per cent stakeholdership in this business," CEO of CRIF NM, Terrence Cooper, told Gleaner Business.

Since its core business is managing credit bureaus, Cooper said, CRIF took the decision to buy out MTIJ, roll out its plans for the local bureau, and, by extension, the region, backed by the support of its parent.

CRIF NM Credit Assure was established in 2011, received its credit bureau licence the following year, and started operating in September 2013. It remains one of three credit bureaus that are operational in Jamaica's nascent market.

CRIF operates in 50 countries with some 6,300 banks and financial institutions, 44,000 business clients and 240,000 consumers utilising its services, the company said in a press release.

With full ownership of CRIF NM now, "that would make it aligned to do things in a similar platform that (we) do throughout other regions," Cooper said. He adds that services will be enhanced, over time, to include customised credit scores for Jamaica, and better analytics and tools.

"Being wholly owned entity, we will benefit from the strength of all the resources and that single focus," he said, while noting that Massy's exit from the investment was "mutually agreed upon".

Cooper declined to comment on the price paid for the shares in MTIJ, saying only "the benefits far outweigh those material costs".

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com