Financial institutions (FIs) registered with the Credit Information Corporation (CIC)—the country’s sole public credit registry and repository of credit information—may continue to assess borrowers at the introductory price of P10 per credit report until June 2021.

Through the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) En Banc, the CIC extended the introductory price to allow its registered FIs including universal and commercial banks, rural banks, lending and financing companies, microfinance institutions (MFIs), cooperatives and coop banks, and even government lending institutions such as the Small Business Corporation, to continue using the CIC Credit Reports in their credit-decisioning activities cost-effectively.

“We recognize the challenges encountered by both borrowers and lenders due to the pandemic so this is our way of helping the financial sector get back on its feet,” Atty. Aileen L. Amor-Bautista, Senior Vice President for Business Development and Communications, shared.

The move is likewise expected to encourage other FIs to go beyond compliance and submission of credit data, and register with the CIC as accessing entities.

“We want them to experience first-hand the benefits of accessing the Credit Information System (CIS) and the value of a shared credit database. As of date, we already have 87 FIs that are actually paying for and investing on CIC Credit Reports. With the P10 inquiry fee, we hope to reach non-bank and smaller FIs. Access to our CIS can also be made through our three accredited credit bureaus: CRIF, CIBI, and TransUnion. These bureaus provide portfolio monitoring and credit scores which are necessary for risk-based lending,” Atty. Amor-Bautista added.

System enhancements

The CIC attributes the continuous increase in the number of FIs registering as accessing entities to the various enhancements deployed in the CIS which includes the Primary ID (PID) Number Tagging System that resolved the lack of TIN and other primary IDs among borrowers of MFIs, rural banks, and cooperatives.

This led to the drastic increase in the number of unique individuals captured by the CIC database from 11 million in the first quarter of 2020 to 23 million by year-end.

“We believe this makes our product even more worthy of investment, especially at its current rate of P10 inclusive of VAT. The credit landscape will face even more challenges in the coming months so now is the time to register as an accessing entity,” the SVP continued.

The CIC likewise expedited the process of applying as an accessing entity through the launch of its online Covered Entity (CE) Portal where FIs can register, update, manage their accounts, and submit documents online.

The CIC also launched an online training program for submission and compliance, as well as walk-through sessions on the CIS for potential and newly-onboarded accessing entities.

Other benefits that FIs may gain from accessing the CIC database—either directly or through its three accredited credit bureaus—include the ability to review loan applications with a balanced view of an individual’s credit history, and lower any investment risks using a credit registry’s comprehensive gathering of data from across a wide range of lenders.

As of December 2020, the CIC database contains 23 million unique individuals and 90,000 companies/proprietors with 85 million contract data contributed by 557 FIs.