FICO Helps Millions of Ukrainian Refugees Get Access to Credit

FICO Helps Millions of Ukrainian Refugees Get Access to Credit

Global analytics software leader FICO, recognized as a global leader in credit scoring analytics, has launched an innovative FICO® Score as part of an effort aimed at helping Ukrainian refugees get credit. This initiative is part of FICO’s long-standing commitment to financial inclusion, supporting an inclusive lending ecosystem, and developing innovative solutions to enable consumers to responsibly get access to credit.

In alliance with FICO and Poland’s Biuro Informacji Kredytowej (BIK), the Ukrainian Bureau of Credit Histories (UBCH) will be able to provide a FICO® Score that lenders can use when offering credit to the estimated 6 million displaced Ukrainians settling in Europe. This credit score, based on UBCH data, will be available first to Polish lenders looking to meet the needs of the roughly 2 million Ukrainian nationals who have relocated to Poland since the war began. The FICO® Score is the standard measure of consumer risk and has been made available in over 40 countries to date, improving risk management, credit access, and transparency.

The project was made possible when three entities — the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; BIK, the only credit bureau in Poland; and UBCH, Ukraine’s largest credit reporting agency — established a secure cross-border data corridor to carry credit data between Ukraine and Poland. FICO leveraged its advanced predictive analytics model to create a FICO® Score based on UBCH data, which scores the UBCH data, giving lenders a forward-looking assessment of an individual’s credit risk based on their available credit history.

“For the millions of Ukrainians displaced by the war, getting credit is a challenge,” said Julie May, vice president of Scores for FICO. “Lenders rely on credit histories and credit scores based on those histories to make decisions, which this initiative provides. FICO undertook this humanitarian effort with local partners to help ease the burden on Ukrainians by enabling a path toward accessing the credit they need. Access to credit provides an opportunity to give financial independence to refugees so they can get loans, apply for credit cards, buy a car or home, or fund businesses.”

FICO plans to roll out the FICO® Score based on UBCH data through BIK and UBCH to Poland and other countries in the region that have access to a data corridor.

“Providing access to credit for Ukrainian refugees displaced through the war in Ukraine is a fundamental obligation for us,” said Mariusz Cholewa, CEO of BIK, and president of the European credit bureau association, ACCIS. “Supporting citizens as they settle improves their quality of life at a time when they have already been subject to upheaval and trauma. For us, this is not a commercial operation but a humanitarian effort to ease the burden.”

“We hope to boost credit access and economic resilience for displaced Ukrainians during the ongoing war with the deployment of the FICO Score,” said Bohdan Pshenychnyi, director, UBCH. “Providing credit histories to lenders in other countries is the right thing to do so that Ukrainians can benefit from their positive credit history earned at home and can qualify for loans. As the leader in credit scoring, FICO is the only partner who can provide the trusted solution we need.”

Making Credit More Accessible and Affordable

Enabling access to the FICO® Score for Ukrainian refugees is just one way that FICO works to increase credit access globally:

  • As part of its Financial Inclusion Initiative, FICO offers the FICO® Score for International Markets. FICO Scores have been made available in more than 40 countries across five continents.
  • Innovative solutions developed by the FICO® Scores team can enable credit access for an estimated 1.3 billion consumers globally using alternative data.
  • FICO also partners with innovative firms such as Belvo in Brazil, to enable use of Open Banking data and FICO analytics to score more consumers.

“Access to credit is incredibly important for individuals to achieve their financial dreams, as well as for the economy,” May said. “However, responsible lending depends on sound risk management. By using our leadership in predictive analytics to provide robust risk tools, we help lenders serve more people while giving consumers more options to access credit to improve their financial health.”