Credit Information Sharing Practices and Financial Performance of Commercial Banks in Kenya
Odhiambo, Felix Ouma
Ndede, Fredrick W. S.
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The banking sector in Kenya suffered increased non-performing credits which prompted collapse of certain banks with an upsurge of loan defaulters. This was mainly attributed to the continued information asymmetry in the industry because of absence of a credit data sharing component. Commercial banks in Kenya have continued to encounter a number of challenges in obtaining information on customers’ payment history that helps guide on determining their ability to access and re-pay loan advancements. This has made more commercial banks to subscribe to credit reference bureaus since its establishment in 2008. As a result, commercial banks in Kenya have been experiencing high rates of Non-Performing Loans advanced to customers. The general objective of the study was to determine the effect of credit information sharing practices on financial performance of commercial bank in Kenya. The study specific objectives were to determine the effect of information accuracy, volume of lending and customer credit reports on financial performance of commercial bank in Kenya. The study was anchored by adverse selection theory, moral hazard theory and asymmetry theory. The researcher used a descriptive research design. The target population was five banks within Nairobi County including KCB, Equity Bank, Family Bank, Cooperative Bank and Barclays Bank. Primary data was collected using questionnaires and secondary data using financial statements of the commercial banks performance for the past 5 years. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The study found that information accuracy, volume of lending and customer credit reports were positively and significantly related to the financial performance of the commercial banks. The study concludes that information accuracy increases the banks ' understanding of the applicants’ features and allows a more precise forecast of their probabilities of repayment, it decreases the information rents that banks could otherwise obtain from their clients and it can function as a borrower discipline tool. Lending volume enhances business banks ' enhanced operations, which in turn leads to banks’ enhanced economic results. Sharing of credit information has made commercial banks grant more loans on the basis of their reputation to deserving clients, thereby improving their profitability. When extensive consumer credit history information are easily accessible, it considerably decreases the cost of entering loan markets for fresh lenders, enhances competition and lowers credit rates. The research recommends that for enhanced results, all financial institutions in Kenya need to protect the precision of their platforms for data sharing. Regular site visits should offer credibility to the precision of the borrowers’ data. The data supplied by CRB should be used efficiently by commercial banks to lend to prospective borrowers. Only borrowers with a strong history of credit should be permitted access to the loans. The research also proposes that Kenya's commercial banks should base credit awards on the borrowers’ reputational assets, ensuring that the loan default rate is small, thus enhancing commercial bank performance