Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau operates under the trade name The Benefit Company BSC (Closed), a company licensed as an Ancillary Service Provider by the Central Bank of Bahrain pursuant to Decree Law No. (34) for the year 2015 amending some provisions of the CBB Law and financial institutions promulgated by Law No. (64) of 2006. The Bureau receives, maintains, analyzes and classifies clients’ credit information, in addition to preparing credit reports based on the provided information, and providing them to members of the Bureau upon request, in conformity with provision of this law. The Central Bank determines the rules, controls and conditions of regulating the functions and services of the Credit Bureau.
Credit Reference Bureau Purpose:
The main objective of the Credit Reference Bureau is to receive, maintain, analyze and classify credit information, and then prepare credit reports and provide its members with reports as requested, and that include:
- Receive credit information on clients, as well as maintaining, analyzing and classifying them, in addition to preparing credit reports based on such information and providing clients and members of the Bureau with such information upon a request submitted to the Bureau from the client or any member.
- Provide information on the client’s financial obligations and debts, including all types of credit facilities.
- Share information with Credit Bureaus outside Kingdom of Bahrain following obtainment of required approvals from the Central Bank in compliance with the terms & conditions specified by the Central Bank.
- Receive information from government bodies and other entities and individuals who are authorized to provide the Bureau with credit information.
- Sign contracts with members of the Bureau including the terms & conditions of receiving information from members and providing them with credit reports.
- Provide clients and members with credit reports upon request in accordance with the terms and conditions included in Code of Practice.
- Receive and follow up complaints &disputes from members’ clients along with providing necessary explanations to them.
- Use credit information for preparation of statistics and studies without revealing the identity of the information’s owner.
Credit information are meant to be the information and data related to client’s financial obligations, including information and data which cover all types of clients debts, granted credit facilities and sale on installment, or any other payable against the client, as well as their maturity dates, related terms & conditions, collaterals & guarantees, settlement and payment method and compliance thereto, and any data related to receivables of government agencies against the client, including fees, installments, penalties, or any other payable to these agencies.
- The Bureau maintains a database including the following information:
- Applicant’s/client’s personal details, which include client’s name, identity number, personal data, resident and work address, income details, social status, and other personal information registered in the Bureau’s members. In case of nominal person (entities), the activity license, commercial registration number, the address and any other related information registered in the Bureau’s member, and other necessary information which reflect the identity of the applicant and can detect any case of fraud.
- Previous applications and inquiries submitted by the members on the credit reports of any of his clients, and the results and decision of the previous inquiries.
- Details and information of the client’s debts and credit facilities, sales on credit, installments, other claims payable against the client, the due date and maturity date, the terms & conditions, collaterals and guarantees, payment method, and the client’s ability to comply with payment to government entities including fees, installments, fines or any other claims against the client for such entities. Any legal cases of credit nature filed against the client, and court orders issued in this respect; and any case of insolvency, bankruptcy or liquidation filed against the client and court orders issued in this respect. In addition to the credit score and any other information of credit nature that may affect the client’s credit worthiness.
- The Bureau shall not allow to retain any credit information about clients' accounts that may affect negatively on granting credit facility to the client, for more than five years from the date of the credit’s accounts closing date or the date on which those accounts passage has regained normally, this rule applies to retail customers only and include all credit information maintained by the Bureau on which the credit was provide to the client.
Who has access to the data?
- The members of the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau who are authorized by the law, and government agencies including Ministries and entities defined by the Cabinet’s Resolution to provide the Bureau with credit information of their clients, and other persons or entities who are obliged by the Central Bank to provide the Bureau with any credit information of their clients.
- Credit Information Use Restrictions:
- Credit information or credit reports may not be used by members of the Credit Bureau unless for the purpose of evaluating the credit status of the client with the aim of taking a decision of credit granting, renewal, reschedule or re-structure, or for the purpose of evaluating the credit status in other cases including sale of commodities or provision of services to any individual against guarantee of deferred payment.
- The credit information can be used for statistics and studies purposes in a manner not reflecting the identification of the personality of the owners of that information.
Client's Rights & Relationship with the Bureau:
- The client is entitled to obtain his/her credit report from the Bureau for free once every 12 months.
- The client is entitled to request additional credit report directly from the Bureau against payment of BD4, or payment of BD5 in case he/she requests it through any member.
- The member who submits the enquiry application must verify the client’s identity.
- The Bureau does not take any decision whether to approve or reject the clients’ applications which are submitted to the members.
- The Bureau shall issue the credit report which includes a summary of the client’s credit information within two working days from the date of receiving the client’s request, unless otherwise stated in the request. Additionally, the Bureau also should not keep a copy of the report, and shall send the credit report to the client by hand or via registered mail.
- Complaints/Disputes Procedure:
- All complaints are recorded in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations and the Bureau Code of Practice. In addition, the Bureau undertakes to document all measures related to complaints for easy reference and review by the Bureau's Management.
- The Bureau receives complaints/disputes from members, clients and the Central Bank.
- The client is entitled to raise a dispute against his/her credit information within 14 days from the date of receiving the credit report. The member must resolve the dispute for no fees, and inform the client within (5) five working days from the date of the dispute.
- The client may submit the dispute directly to the Bureau, and the member must review the dispute in coordination with the Bureau for no fees within (5) five working days, and must notify the Bureau and the client accordingly.
- The Bureau must review the dispute raised by the client. If found that the dispute is irrelevant to the correctness of any information, the Bureau takes the step of filing it and informing the client of the decision and reason of filing it within one working day from the date of receiving the dispute. In case the dispute is accepted, the Bureau must review it and make all necessary corrections in the information if there is an operation or process error within the Bureau system, or forwarding it to the member who provided the information to review the dispute.
- Credit reports issued during the dispute review must include a reference to the dispute.
- Once amendments are made in the credit report due to a dispute, the Bureau must inform the client on introduced amendments, and should send him a copy of the amended credit report. In addition, the Bureau should notify all enquirers who formerly made previous enquiries and obtained credit reports within the last (3) three months about the amendments.
- In case a complaint is related to inquiries made with no justifiable or lawful purpose, the Bureau must get back to the inquirer and ask him to provide a lawful reason of inquiry. In case there is no lawful reason for the inquiry, the Bureau must raise a dispute to the Central Bank and the relevant member’s regulator for necessary actions.
- Correction of Credit Information:
- The client is entitled to ask the member to insert additional information related to his/her credit status, provided that he must prove the authenticity of provided information.
- The Bureau or the member must correct the information in accordance with applicable rules and regulations and the Bureau Code of Practice and as set forth in the membership agreement and the Bureau Manual.
- The Bureau must notify the Central Bank of any dispute raised by the client in relation to any misuse of his/her credit information by any member for necessary action.
The Rules & Regulation (Code of Practice) of the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau:
Click here to view the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau Code of Practice.