Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh has taken initiatives to streamline its Credit Information Bureau (CIB) to promote business activities through prompt delivery of credit reports.

The Bangladesh Bank’s (BB), the country’s central bank, move has come against the backdrop of a massive back log of requests for CIB reports in the recent months, officials said on Monday.

Under the move, the central bank has initially outsourced at least 15 students from the Dhaka University besides engaging 10 more assistant directors of the central bank to expedite the issuance of CIB reports.

Besides, the central bank started works to set up online connectivity between CIB and the head offices of the commercial banks and financial institutions through automation system.

“We expect that the automation of CIB will be completed fully by October 2010,” a BB executive director told BBN in Dhaka on Monday, adding that the central bank has already appointed CRIF, an Italian company, to implement the automation project.

More than 1,400 banks and financial institutions all over the world use CRIF solutions on a daily basis, the company said in a report.

“We’re hopeful about overcome the existing back look position within the next three months,” the BB executive said, adding that the CRIF has already started their works to implement the project.

The CIB of BB has submitted an application to the authorities concerned to provide 15 more students on temporary basis to strengthen the workforce of the department, the BB officials added.

Under the existing provisions, outstanding loans worth BDT 50,000 minimum are included in the CIB reporting system.

Currently, the commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions submit over 3000 applications for CIB reports every working day which were only 400-500 around five years back.

“The number of applications has suddenly marked a sharp rise due to inclusion of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the CIB reporting system,” another BB official said.

Earlier, the central bank included SMEs credit information under the CIB reporting system to improve risk management of the banking sector.

As per existing service standard, the credit reports are supplied within five working days of receiving the request, the volume of which was around 3100 per day during fiscal 2007-08, a BB report said.

On the other hand, businessmen alleged that they receive the CIB reports from the central bank nearly one month later from the date of submission of their requests that hampers their business activities.

“We want the credit report from the central bank quickly to gear up the overall business activities across the country,” President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufactures and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Fazlul Hoque told BBN in the capital, Dhaka on Monday.

The BKMEA president also urged the authorities concerned for taking necessary measures to provide such report as early as possible to protect the national interest.

The CIB was set up on August 18, 1992 in the central bank aiming to improve credit risks and reduce the extent of default loan.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-12May09-1:08 pm (BST)