BoU licenses fourth credit reference bureau

Armada will be key in helping to assess credit worthiness amid an increase in loan defaults. Photo / Courtesy  

What you need to know:

  • Armada CRB is the fourth credit reference Bureau to be licenced by Bank of Uganda after Compuscan, Metropole and GnuGrid CRB

Bank of Uganda (BoU) has granted a license to Armada Credit Bureau (Armada CRB) to handle credit risk.  The licence brings the number of companies accessing credit risk in Uganda to four. 

The others are Compuscan, a company of Experian Uganda, Metropole and GnuGrid CRB. 

Credit reference bureaus are key in assessing credit worthiness of borrowers with the aim of decreasing the possibility of loan default. 

In 2008 Bank of Uganda established the credit reference bureau segment, issuing the first licence to Compuscan, which was allowed to operate as an exclusive credit worthiness accessor for a period of three years. 

However, the exclusivity offer period ended in September 2012, which opened up the market to competition. 

Armada CRB joins other three credit bureaus to enhance assessment of risk of borrowers and integrate credit information sharing with credit providers to lower loan default rates.

Financial institutions such as banks use credit ratings to assess the likelihood of a borrower missing payments on their debt and their capacity to fulfil future repayments. 

This is done by looking at past transactions of the borrower to that aid in the projection of future payments.


Credit reference bureaus are governed under the Financial Institutions (Credit Reference Bureau) Regulations, 2022, which provides on how they gather and share credit data to support growth of the credit sector and build confidence among financial institutions. 

Armada CRB comes at a time when there has been an increase in default rates and a weakening of financial institutions assets quality. 

It also comes at a time of an expanded borrowing space that has gone beyond supervised financial institutions to include mobile money and electronic micro loans. 

In a statement, Armada CRB said under the new licence, it will provide comprehensive credit services to financial institutions, microfinance organisations and individual creditors. 

Credit bureaus are an important tool in the expansion of credit availability, preventing overspending and rewarding prudent borrowing and repayment, They are also key in controlling the movement of interest rates. 

Through credit reference bureaus, commercial banks and nonbank credit-grating institutions screen borrowers, monitor risk profiles, and enhance the efficiency of loan portfolios.

The expansion of credit reference bureaus aligns with the broader national strategy of promoting responsible lending and borrowing.