10 Feb 2011
The Hindu Business Line
Edition: Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai New
Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Pune Pg: 08
Equifax Credit Information Services is planning to launch nine new
products, including those that will help banks to actively manage
their credit portfolios and alert them about identity thefts, over the
next 18 months in India. The credit bureau, which is a joint venture
between the US-based information solutions company Equifax and three
banks – Bank of India, Union Bank of India, and Bank of Baroda – and
non-banking finance companies – Kotak Prime, Sundaram Finance and
Religare Finvest Ltd – has over 100 members currently and over six
crore records. It became operational in September 2009. Speaking to
Business Line, Mr Samir Bhatia, Managing Director and CEO, said that
in India credit reporting lacks depth of products.
For instance, in the US, Equifax has over 800 products.
Equifax’s product for active portfolio management is currently being
tested by a few banks. This product will alert the bank if a customer
becomes more leveraged, i.e., if he or she tries to seek additional
loans, the system will generate alerts. Suppose a customer has taken a
home loan from a particular bank and is consistent with repayments.
Later on, the customer goes in for a car loan or a personal loan from
another bank. This credit reporting product will alert the bank about
the changing leverage levels of the customer.
The bank can then accordingly offer either more products to the
customer or review the existing credit limits. “Such a product would
have helped banks manage their portfolios better during the credit
crunch two years ago,” Mr Bhatia said. Segmentation for portfolio
management is also possible. This is aimed at helping banks compare
data across different geographies and different kinds of products. For
instance, how the auto loan segment is performing in one particular
district. Currently, Equifax provides lenders with credit reports and
scores for consumer loans like mortgages, auto loans, personal loans,
credit cards and so on. Equifax is in talks with MFin, the umbrella
body of NBFC-MFIs, to set up a credit bureau for the microfinance
segment, Mr Bhatia added.