The second phase of Al Etihad Credit Bureau’s launch, to be announced early in 2015, will see it issuing credit reports for businesses.

This will include issuing credit reports on all companies operating in the UAE, bounced check details and telecommunications companies’ payment information for the past 24 months.

SMEs are hoping that credit reports will help provide more lending to the sector. There are around 200,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE, which account for 94 percent of all companies in the UAE and 90 percent of the workforce.

But only a third currently take business financing, according to’s October survey, with most needing to have been in business a minimum of two years.

[Related: UAE credit reports explained | How to read your credit report | UAE Credit Bureau kicks off]

Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau, told Gulf Business: “It is still too early to say how the credit bureau will affect SMEs, but it is a core component of our development in 2015.

“We look at owners, and what banks will be looking at will be the credit history of the owners of the SMEs.”

He also said that, for SMEs without financial history, the AECB is in discussion with the industry to develop a model that uses credit data “to give a lot of objectivity with little subjectivity”.

[Compare UAE SME business finance]