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S'pore banks get help in lending decisions

Country's consumer credit bureau taps on business intelligence tools to enable financial institution members to perform timely creditworthiness checks online.
Written by Sol E. Solomon, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Financial institutions that want to make informed lending decisions can now tap onto an online credit data library set up by the Credit Bureau (Singapore).

Operational since October, Credit Pulse Hub not only allows financial companies to easily access credit data via a secured browser for creditworthiness assessments, but also puts business intelligence and analytics into their hands.

A joint venture by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and DBIC Holdings, Credit Bureau was created in line with the goal of Singapore's central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to enhance the country's risk management capability.

Under Singapore's Banking Act, the bureau's members--banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions recognized by the MAS--can disclose credit-related information to, and obtain such information from, the credit bureau. The organization aggregates this information and presents a more complete risk profile of a customer to the credit providers so that they can check the creditworthiness of their existing and prospective customers.

In an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia, William Lim, the bureau's executive director, pointed out that timely and accurate credit history information can help financial institutions distinguish if a potential client is a good or bad credit risk.

To that end, the bureau chose to partner with Business Objects as it was pleased with the accuracy and flexibility of the vendor's business intelligence (BI) products, he noted. Besides ease of use, the systems enable data to be presented in formats and views that users feel comfortable with.

"The Business Objects XI platform together with the analytical power of Crystal Reports and Xcelsius [data visualization tool], help Credit Bureau to provide information quickly and effectively, while putting more flexibility into the hands of users," explained Lim.

With the implementation, Credit Bureau can now provide rich information content to its clients. These include the customized Product Analyses application where the bureau uses the Business Objects tools to create a reporting format according to the customer's specifications. The information is delivered to the customer monthly via the Credit Pulse Hub.

The online system also offers customers dashboards for high-level monitoring of a bank's performance. Users have the flexibility to view the data in two ways--rankings or trends. The data reflected are benchmarked against industry standards.

To perform analytics, customers can customize designs of a report by selecting the angle of the analysis. They can view the data online, print or download the data in various formats such as PDF, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.

Credit Bureau, according to Lim, is rolling out the capabilities to customers in stages. The system runs on a Pentium 4 server running Windows XP Professional operating system, and is maintained in-house by bureau staff who attended development and maintenance courses conducted by Business Objects.

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