Publications and Reports

Any person with a conservative perspective of CIS Kenya’s mandate would be forgiven for asking the question: How does CIS Kenya harmonize its traditional role of developing a credit information sharing system with its new leadership role of promoting Sustainable Finance among non-banking institutions in Kenya? The answer lies in the recognition that our membership requires a more comprehensive view of the risks that confront them.

There is no doubt that information asymmetry threatens the quality of the loan book. The solutions that credit bureaus offer by providing credit bureau reports, scores and other products are largely used to mitigate the economic risks of the business. However, it has become increasingly clear that our membership must consider the long term effects of the depletion of natural resources and climate change. We set out to complement our CIS value proposition with a conversation on the urgent need for our members to engage with the sustainability issues that call for balancing environmental, social and economic factors of their business.

We identified World Wide Fund for Nature Kenya (WWF) as a partner in this journey. We settled on the local Development Finance Institutions operating in Kenya as our first sector of focus and who quite fortunately, are part of the CIS Kenya membership. This WWF-CIS Kenya partnership is intended to encourage non-bank financial institutions to re-examine indirect and direct risks that arise from environmental and social (E&S) issues

We are of the view that time has come for member institutions to draw from the opportunities that arise from sounder loan portfolio thanks to adequate E&S risk identification and management. Working with a committee that was established from among local DFIs, we have defined the sustainability agenda for this category of members drawn from the convergence that exists between AADFI Standards, CIS best practices and Sustainability factors. Having mapped out the common areas of concern, we proceeded to develop a Self-Diagnostic Tool (SDT) that will help our members undertake a self-assessment of the gaps that exist in their risk management frameworks. The next step will be to develop a Customer Assessment Tool (CAT) on Sustainable Finance Compliance.  

This paper makes the case for agricultural lenders in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to upgrade the sources of information collateral by placing more reliance on credit bureaus than less sophisticated structures such as  group-based savings and lending techniques. Properly licensed and regulated credit bureaus, having access to a wide range of formal and informal, positive and negative data, are a more efficient and effective means for character-based lending to mitigate risk, reduce operating costs and enforce repayment...Read on.

The experience of Credit Information Sharing (“CIS”) in Kenya is a case study in market and stakeholder coordination in order to build a robust financial infrastructure. Kenya’s experience, until 2008 was much like many other countries: a story of fits and starts with limited progress and effectiveness. In 2008, a number of stakeholders including donors, industry associations, regulators and financial institutions began working together to solve an intractable problem: how to create an effective CIS market. The Kenyan experience is best captured and distilled in three separate stand-alone documents, each serving a different purpose.

This document (CIS Toolkit - Case Study) tells the story of what happened and what lessons were learned along the way. It is particularly useful to practitioners seeking to create CIS in other markets and wish to understand how to best catalyse change.

This second document (CIS Toolkit - Step-By-Step Guide) is useful for those who want to dig deeper, for a high-level guide on how to replicate Kenya’s experience in a different country. The high-level guide takes the insights from the case study and converts them to actionable steps that regulators, donors and financial institutions in other markets can follow to achieve similar results. Naturally, each country is different and there will be invariable differences. Still, the general principles captured in the high-level guide serve as important sign posts to follow to maximise the odds of success.

This third document (CIS Toolkit - High-level Toolkit for Practitioners) seeks to ensure that the ultimate success metric is achieved: participation in CIS by all financial institutions. It is a step-by-step guide for credit providers on how to go about preparing to join the CIS mechanism. Although mainly created for credit providers, it is equally useful to donors and regulators who need to understand the key issues credit providers grapple with and areas in which either technical assistance or regulatory intervention can be most effective.

This report was commissoned by CIS Kenya and FSD Kenya to understand the current perceptions of market participants regarding the usage of the CIS mechanism, its impact on the market and remaining constraints to the development of an effective credit sharing mechanism in Kenya. 

This brief constitutes a report on the above training conducted on 12th May 2016 by CIS Kenya for its members. This initiative was intended to expose credit officers to credit scoring development and intepretation. CIS Kenya intends to make training a core activity and therefore this one-day training served as a pilot to inform future training undertakings. The training was attended by 42 delegates from commercial banks, credit reference bureaus, development finance institutions, microfinance institutions, saccos and state lenders. 

CIS Kenya through assistance from FSD Kenya, commissioned a feasibility study to determine the potential of credit bureau data to inform banking supervision and economic policy. This is because a lot of data is uploaded to the credit reference bureau, which, if analysed would reveal information relevant to inform policy development. Further, the feasibility study sought to recommend a framework for undertaking analytical work using credit bureau data. 

The scope of the study included:

  • Considering the legal provisions covering credit information sharing and data analytics using credit bureau data
  • Examining the existing Data Specifications Template and Data Transmission Rules to ascertain the scope of data available
  • Considering the feasibility of carrying out analytical work using credit bureau data in Kenya. 

In 2016, CIS Kenya contracted Mkubwa Productions to carry out a digital campaign on credit information sharing. The campaign focussed on social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube) to create awareness on the mechanism and change perceptions on the mechanism. 

The presentation below shows a summary of reach at the end of the campaign. 

Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSD Kenya) requested a peer review of the ADR mechanism for CIS Kenya. More specifically, 

  • to review the ADR mechanism's (Tatua Center) operation
  • to review its current model of resolving disputes and benchmark it against international standards. These standards are captured in the principles developed by the International Network for Financial Ombudsman (INFO) whih is based on the Worldbank's report on Fundamentals for Financial Ombudsman. 
  • to provide recommendations for improved efficiency and effectiveness
  • to provide recommendations on the possible expansion of the scope of disputes resolved by Tatua Center