A first-of-its-kind Cambodia-Singapore cross-border credit-bureau initiative has been launched, which has been embraced as a potentially valuable resource for a wide variety of businesses and individuals from either country.

On March 8, Credit Bureau (Cambodia) Co Ltd (CBC) CEO Oeur Sothearoath and William Lim, executive director of Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CBS), a subsidiary of Credit Bureau Asia Ltd (CBA) penned a document on the initiative at a launch ceremony held in the city-state, witnessed by authorities of both nations, according to a joint statement.

“Both CBS and CBC will work closely together to ensure that the regulatory frameworks and requirements are complied with, thereby providing a more holistic picture of new-to-country individual’s creditworthiness and close up the gaps that many credit providers and employers face while performing credit checks on individuals who have just newly relocated to the country.

“Both bureaus are optimistic that this initiative will boost industry confidence to work together and set the scene for more partnerships across bureaus internationally, enabling credit providers and/or potential employers to have a more complete view and understanding of an individual’s credit-worthiness,” it said.

CBS’s Lim said in the statement that his company “plays an integral role in supporting prudent access to credit in Singapore for the past two decades.

“This collaboration is a first and positive step for the availability of cross-border flow of data to support ease of access to credit for the nationals and residents of both countries.

“We believe that this new initiative will help build a more robust credit management system for both bureaus.

“We hope that this will pave the way for other bilateral collaborations to empower our members’ risk assessment capabilities, when the right regulatory conditions are present,” he said.

CBC’s Sothearoath commented that the partnership reflects a positive step between the two institutions towards enhancing cross-border credit reporting, which he stressed is crucial for both countries.

“This is a major milestone for us to launch cross border credit reporting in collaboration with Credit Bureau Singapore. We believe that this shall contribute to borrowers as well as lenders in both countries setting an innovative example in the region,” the statement quoted him as saying.

National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) assistant governor and CBC chairwoman Chea Serey added: “It is commendable that

the [NBC] and the Monetary Authority of Singapore thought out of the box with an open-mindset to empower the consumers to take control over their credit file across the borders.

“The two credit bureaus have put in incredible efforts to be able to launch this collaboration that can bring significant benefits to a large number of businesses and individuals from both Cambodia and Singapore unlocking opportunities for them.

“This is a beginning and we hope that we can expand our collaboration with credit bureaus in other ASEAN countries in better realising a seamless ASEAN,” she said.