21 Dec 2009 12:15

Sberbank, Experian, Interfax to create unifed credit bureau in Russia

Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank), Interfax Group, and Experian have announced the creation of a unified credit bureau that will improve transparency in the Russian retail lending market, reduce credit risk and provide consumers with better access to credit.

The new bureau will be based on the existing Experian-Interfax bureau infrastructure. Under the new terms agreed, Experian and Interfax will each hold 25% of the joint venture and Sberbank will hold 50%.

The new joint venture will combine the capabilities of Sberbank, Russia‘s biggest bank, Experian, the world‘s leading credit bureau operator and Interfax, the leading information agency in Russia.

With the addition of data from Sberbank, the total number of credit agreements in the Experian-Interfax bureau will nearly double to 23m.

As a result of this new combination, organisations will be able to make faster, accurate and more profitable decisions. Russian banks will, for the first time, have broad access to consumer credit histories from Sberbank, as well as to Experian‘s data, software and analytics. In addition, Interfax will provide access to further information resources, such as additional information on borrowers. Interfax will also provide the SPARK database, Russia‘s largest business information database, including data on employers and entrepreneurs.

"Now that we are expanding private lending the existence of a developed credit bureau market allowing us to raise the quality of the risk evaluation of borrowers to a fundamentally new level is essential for us. We hope that our joint project with Interfax and Experian will give an impetus to the development of this market and as a consequence make loans more accessible to a broader circle of Russian citizens and reduce the lending risks of Sberbank as well as other parties to the loan market," Denis Bugrov, Sberbank Senior Vice President, said.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Interfax Group, Mikhail Kommisar, commented: "The deal we have announced today is an important event for the entire credit bureau market. It will dramatically increase competition, which will provide higher quality service and support affordable and transparent prices. It effectively ends the era of pocket bureaus in Russia, which only supplied information to outside banks in limited quantities."

Rick Gallagher, Managing Director - EMEA, for Experian, commented: "This new combination represents a further step in Experian‘s strategy to develop its credit bureaux footprint in high growth emerging markets globally. The joint venture will benefit from enhanced data coverage, market-leading technology and a leading position in the Russian market. In addition, the joint venture will provide a platform for the further deployment of our value-added products in Russia, giving clients access to enhanced credit risk and fraud management services."

About Sberbank

Sberbank Russia is the biggest bank in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe accounting for about 30% of assets of the Russian banking system and a key creditor of the national economy. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and major shareholder of Sberbank (over 60% of voting shares). Its other shareholders are over 250,000 corporate entities and private individuals. The bank has the broadest network of branches in Russia comprising 18 territorial banks, over 20,000 structural divisions and offices as well as subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Sberbank has general banking license N1481
Official website www.sberbank.ru

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and S?o Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

About Interfax

Interfax Group, the leading news organization in the former Soviet Union, is developing professional information solutions that help companies to operate on financial and commodities markets, make investment decisions, manage risk, organize external communications, and analyze markets and companies. The SPARK system developed by Interfax contains data on all Russian corporate entities and includes evaluation scores for over 300,000 companies. Interfax D&B provides access to information on 150 million companies worldwide, while the SCAN system, which combines more than 2,000 sources, enables professional-level monitoring of the information space.