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Credit history might prove useful

A person should be confident that they know everything about themselves — including their financial reputation
A person should be confident that they know everything about themselves — including their financial reputation. Belarus itself follows this principle and the National Bank’s Credit History Bureau has been in operation for several years now. The so-called ‘Credit Register’ keeps data on borrowers and credits they receive, on schedules of debt repayment and other useful information.

Credit history will reveal much

Banks, leasing and insurance companies and communication operators are able to use it, with the applicant’s permission, when new credit is asked for. If a person has problems with the law, the bureau would receive a query from the law enforcement bodies. With this in mind, the subject of the credit history should check the data from time to time to ensure that no mistakes have been made and that all the information held is correct and up to date.

In line with the law, each Belarusian can check their credit file as often as they wish. However, free access is provided once a year only; the remaining attempts are made on a paid basis. To receive a file, an individual needs to request the data from the Credit Register or regional departments of the National Bank. Unsurprisingly, only 2,600 requests were received last year from citizens (while, the register’s database retains over 4,500 credit histories and at least 100,000 Belarusians apply for new credit each month).

From now on, it will be easier to access these personal files. The National Bank has introduced a new portal: Online credit histories are now available. “It might be useful for individuals to become familiar with their credit histories,” says Victor Plenkin who heads the National Bank’s Credit Register Department. “Firstly, they can look at themselves through the bank’s eyes to understand whether a bank views them as a reliable borrower (credit ratings are available). Secondly, they can study their histories to check for any mistakes; from time to time, these can emerge in banking calculations. Thirdly, it’s possible to learn who has shown interest in them recently as this information will be registered in the database.”

In this respect, bank security is a topical issue. Banks assure their customers that the system is secure and the portal’s developers have studied the experience of states which enjoy well developed digital technologies and, as a result, Belarus has adopted systems used by other banking services such as those in the Scandinavian states. This means that each bank independently provides every client with a login and a password, allowing the online service to be available from any device.

By Alexander Benkovsky

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