INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Qatar 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to, Sheikha Maryam Bint Khalifa Al-Thani, CEO of Qatar Credit Bureau (CB)on the Financesector.

BIOGRAPHY
Sheikha Maryam Bint Khalifa Al-Thani was appointed CEO of Qatar Credit Bureau in 2018. Prior to her current position, she was the bureau’s assistant CEO since 2015. She graduated from Qatar University in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, and in November 2006, she started her career by joining Qatar Central Bank’s investment department. She has held several positions in Qatar Credit Bureau, such as Head of Economic Intelligence Department, where she led multi-functional teams.

What have been some of the bureau's major highlights in its decade of existence?

CB was established in 2011. The vision of the bureau is to create a secured credit system in the country that operates in accordance with international standards. Apart from individual and commercial credit summary reports, CB started issuing credit reports with FICO credit scores to customers in mid-2016. As a part of expansion into diverse economic activities, we added members from the telecoms and automobile financing sectors and provided them with our product and services to serve their customers. Furthermore, we have introduced SMS services to keep customers up-to-date with the latest developments and ensure their satisfaction.

What are the criteria of becoming a member of Qatar Credit Bureau, and what benefits do members enjoy?

The intending member should be a recognized/registered institution involved in a credit, payment, or collection related activity. The member will have access to credit information from various sectors and can take a comprehensive overview of their customers. This will assist the financial institutions and credit facilitators in making informed credit decisions in order to minimize credit risk and enhance transparency in the banking and financial sectors in the country.

How would you assess the health of the banking and financial sector in Qatar?

The banking sector, the mainstay of the financial sector, has remained solid, supported by healthy asset growth, adequate capitalization, a low non-performing loan ratio, and comfortable profitability. Proactive support from the regulators and prudent economic policies have helped the financial sector to mitigate the challenges that emerged in mid-2017 and regain investor confidence. This is also reflected in the assessments of various international organizations regarding the overall economy.

What is your outlook for the year ahead?

We are working toward strategic expansion by adding more members. Furthermore, we add new data sources and sectors and provide fresh products and services for our clients. We are looking forward to launching credit scores for SMEs. Our contributions will continue in order to build up an efficient and stable domestic economic system by providing comprehensive and accurate credit information based on state-of-the-art technology and global knowledge.