The Namibian first Data Sharing Alliance (NDSA) will be officially launched by the Governor of the Bank of Namibia (BON) on 2 March 2015 in Windhoek. The establishment of the NSDA has been made possible largely by FinMark Trust (FMT) which has, since early 2014, worked closely with the Namibian credit providers, regulators and the Ministry of Finance. The involvement of FMT in this project is based on the recognitionthat access to responsible credit is one of the mechanisms which consumers can use to enter the formal financial services arena.
The overall objectives of the project are to expand credit information sharing in order to:
- increase access to finance for households and SMEs;
- improve risk management for credit providers;
- curb increasing over-indebtedness;
- contribute to improved bank supervision and compliance within international standards and
- ensure that information sharing takes place within a regulated environment, which provides for appropriate protection of consumer rights.
FMT is also facilitating the establishment of such alliances in a number of other SADC countries where significant progress has been made in terms of their registration as legal entities. Once these alliances are fully functional at the national level, appropriate mechanisms will be put in place to pave the way for the establishment of the Southern African Development Community Credit Reporting Alliance (SADCCRA) to enable credit and data sharing among all credit providers including banks, development financial institutions, micro-lenders, insurers and savings cooperatives in the SADC region. It is also expected that at the regional level harmonised principles for credit information sharing and reporting based on internationally accepted best practices and norms will soon be adopted by the Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG), the technical committee established under the Finance and Investment Protocol of SADC to deal with banking and finance issues.