Credit Reporting Database
This dataset provides information on credit reporting systems (credit registries and credit bureaus) in 195 countries around the world, building on the Doing Business Indicators database.
Public and private credit reporting institutions have evolved to serve different purposes. Credit registries generally developed to support the state’s role as a supervisor of financial institutions. Where credit registries exist, loans above a certain amount must, by law, be registered in the national credit registry. In some cases, credit registries have relatively high thresholds for loans that are included in their databases. Credit registries tend to monitor loans made by regulated financial institutions and usually do not offer value-added services, such as credit scores or collection services. Against the backdrop of the financial crisis, many countries have made efforts to optimize the use of credit registry data for prudential oversight and regulation.
Credit bureaus, by contrast, are privately owned commercial enterprises catering to the information requirements of commercial lenders. Though there is variation in the type and extent of information they collect, credit bureaus generally strive to collect very detailed data on individual clients. They therefore tend to cover smaller loans than registries and often collect information from a wide variety of financial and nonfinancial entities, including retailers, credit card companies, and microfinance institutions. As a result, data collected by credit bureaus are often more comprehensive and better geared to assess and monitor the creditworthiness of individual clients. Compared to credit registries, private credit bureaus are a relatively recent institution. Although credit bureaus have existed in Germany, Sweden, and the United States for nearly a century, they emerged in many other high-income countries, including France, Italy, and Spain, as recently as the 1990s.
To provide an overview of the state of public and private credit reporting around the world, this database presents data on the ownership structure and extent of information collected by credit bureaus and registries.
Credit registry and credit bureau are dummy variables that take a value of 1 if a registry/bureau exists in a country and zero otherwise. In the sample, approximately 45 percent of countries have a credit registry and 55 percent have a credit bureau.
For more, see Bruhn, Miriam, Subika Farazi, and Martin Kanz. 2012. “Bank Concentration and Credit Reporting.” Policy Research Working Paper, World Bank, Washington, DC.