Experian, a leading global information solutions company, and Interfax Information Services Group, Russia’s leading provider of information and services to the financial market, have announced that they have signed a joint venture to create the first credit bureau in Russia – the Experian-Interfax Bureau of Credit Histories. The new bureau is ready to start operations and has begun to connect banks and other lenders to the system.

Around 20 banks and lenders have so far agreed to co-operate with the Experian-Interfax Bureau of Credit Histories, including International Moscow Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Baltiyskiy Bank, Bank Vozrozhdeniye and International Industrial Bank.

“Experian-Interfax is the first major operator to offer credit bureau services in Russia and the first major international player to operate in Russia,” said Experian’s CEO, John Saunders. “We are happy that our project is developing well in Russia and that the Experian-Interfax system will be ready for launch in time for the Russian Law on Credit Bureaux coming into effect in June. We are excited and encouraged by the fact that about 20 banks and other lenders are already co-operating with us.”

Experian-Interfax was established in late 2004 and is the first company to create a credit bureau system to cover all of Russia. From a technical centre in Moscow, it intends to work with clients from all over Russia which are interested in promoting the development of the credit bureau institution and in protecting consumers’ rights.

“Experian has chosen to enter into the partnership with Interfax at this time because of the size and potential of the Russian market, which now benefits from a stable political and economic environment,” continued John Saunders. “Consumer lending is growing very fast, and has been for four years, and the legal infrastructure to enable the new bureau to be created has been established with the new law for credit reporting signed by President Putin at the end of 2004.

“The prospects for the market are good,” said Interfax Group Chairman Mikhail Komissar, “because not only is the market stable and growing, but Russian and foreign banks are investing heavily in their systems, lending to consumers and businesses is increasing strongly and this demand for credit from businesses and consumers continues to increase. This, coupled with increasing disposable income of Russian consumers, has created good conditions for sustained growth, providing there is an infrastructure mechanism for assisting in controlling risk properly – the credit bureau.

“Experian and Interfax each have a 50% stake in the project. Experian-Interfax, established jointly with a global leader in the sector, has given Russian banks and companies access to well-tested, reliable and convenient technical solutions, which are already used in over 60 countries.”

ENDS

For further press information, contact:

Peter Brooker
Public Relations Director, Experian International
Tel: +44 (0) 115 934 4548
M: +44 (0) 7889 186022

Notes to editors

About Experian

Experian is a global leader in providing information solutions to organisations and consumers. It helps organisations find, develop and manage profitable customer relationships by providing information, decision-making solutions and processing services. It empowers consumers to understand, manage and protect their personal information and assets. Experian works with more than 50,000 clients across diverse industries, including financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, insurance, retail and catalogue, automotive, manufacturing, leisure, utilities, property, e-commerce and government. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Costa Mesa, California. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 60 countries. Annual sales exceed £1.3 billion. Experian already owns and operates credit bureaux in 11 international markets, including the UK and the US.

For more information, visit the company’s website on www.experian.com.

The word ‘Experian’ is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.

About Interfax Information Services Group

Interfax Information Services Group provides news and other information products that are essential for decision makers in politics and business. Since early 1990s, Interfax has been the main provider of up-to-date news from Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union. Over the past few years, Interfax has also become a leading provider of political and business news from China and emerging markets of Central Europe.

A network of about 30 companies operates under the Interfax brand all over Russia, the CIS, China and several Central European countries. The Group publishes news in Russian, English, Ukrainian, Kazakh and German languages and provides about 100 specialised services.

Apart of news, it offers a number of unique information products based on the state-of-the-art technologies, among them SPARK, the System for Professional Analysis of Markets and Companies, Russia’s largest and most comprehensive database on companies. Interfax Group produces company news, industry analysis and ratings, co-operating in this field with the largest brands of the information industry. Moody’s Investors Service is a partner in Moody’s Interfax Rating Agency, which provides indispensable information for banks and investors reaching out to Russia’s markets.

For more information, visit the Interfax’s website on www.interfax.com.

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