Ask any small business owner in the UAE and they will tell you that one of the most challenging aspects of running an SME is obtaining sufficient funding.
While at present it seems that only a handful of banks provide satisfactory loan offerings for small businesses, this is set to change in the future. And that’s because more banks will be able to check a business owner’s credit history over the coming months, which will no doubt make the process easier.
And it’s all thanks to Al Etihad Credit Bureau. This bureau is promising to improve the loan process for small businesses across the Emirates by providing a credit report service. With branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – the financial centre helps by providing a detailed report of a business’s credit history in less than an hour.
“Al Etihad Credit Bureau adds tremendous value to the UAE’s financial sector by enabling institutions to make informal decisions, whilst helping individuals and corporations to understand their current financial obligations, debt level and creditworthiness,” a spokesperson told compareit4me. “For SMEs in particular, access to such information is critical to their growth and success.”
“[We are] actively working with financial institutions to collect credit data on individuals and companies, with plans in place to collaborate with utilities, government, and other organisations in the future.
“Facilitating the monitoring of UAE lending practices in real-time, the Bureau will also stabilise and enhance transparency across the country’s economic sector, improving the profile of the UAE’s consumer credit market and the country’s global competitiveness.”
So just what is the value of a company credit report? The spokesperson explained: “Credit reports will allow the UAE’s companies to check the information held by banks is accurate – an important factor, as a strong credit history will give access to better terms and conditions with banks, lenders and utility providers and will make it easier to gain access to capital.
“Companies will also be able to manage their suppliers by understanding the creditworthiness of their suppliers; this ensures that they are dealing with credible suppliers.”
They continued: “Also understanding the creditworthiness of their clients will help them manage the terms and conditions they offer them.”
Obtaining a report is easy. All you have to do is visit either the bureau’s headquarters on Al Falah Street in Abu Dhabi, or its Dubai branch on Sheikh Zayed Road with your relevant business documents and Emirates ID and passport. Fees vary according to the requirements of the business.
For more information, visit the Al Etihad Credit Bureau site here.