IFC Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Advisory Services Project
Access to finance is one of the foundations of private sector growth. As such, supporting the development of the financial sector has been a priority of IFC in the region. Regional financial markets need further strengthening in order to secure financial stability and offer broader access to finance. Notably, countries in this region typically lack one of the main cornerstones of a sound financial system: credit bureaus. They also lack local financial staff trained in risk management best practices.
The project aims to strengthen financial market infrastructure in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan by developing effective credit information sharing between financial institutions and introducing formal risk education and certification for financial institution employees. The project should help financial institutions make faster and more accurate credit decisions, thereby increasing the availability and affordability of financial services for individual consumers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.
The project will run for three years and is being implemented in partnership with the Swiss Government.
The project focuses on the following specific objectives:
Improving and implementing the legal and regulatory framework for credit information sharing relating to credit bureaus
Building the capacity of financial intermediaries to improve credit underwriting policies and practices through in-depth advisory services. This will include introducing the use of credit bureaus for credit information and credit underwriting
Building the capacity of credit bureaus to better serve financial intermediaries
Enhancing professional risk management certification for staff in financial intermediaries by developing and introducing formal risk management education and certification programs
Raising awareness about the role of credit bureaus and professional risk certification through public education campaigns and outreach work.