Artemis Bank Information Systems Ltd: Looking back with pride and forward with passion

The year 2018 was a milestone in the history of Artemis Bank Information Systems Ltd (“Artemis”) since it marked the completion of 10 years since its establishment as the first Credit Bureau in Cyprus. Till date, Artemis is the only recognized Credit Bureau in Cyprus by the World Bank and its presence helps the competitiveness of the Cyprus economy.

Artemis had from the very beginning a two-fold vision: On one hand, to assist the financial institutions in the evaluation of the repayment ability of prospective and existing borrowers (“Responsible lending”) and on the other hand to educate the Public about the proper management of their credit facilities (“Responsible borrowing”). Both pillars are key to the smoothening of the functioning of the Cyprus economy.

This 10-year journey of Artemis was highlighted with a number of important achievements for the company and consequently the financial sector. From Artemis’ operation initiation in 2009 where the four biggest banks, at the time, were exchanging data through Artemis on a voluntary basis, Artemis today serves efficiently a total of 30 financial institutions submitting and receiving data by Law. In these years, the Artemis’ register was significantly enriched with data categories which are considered instrumental in the efficient evaluation of a customer’s creditworthiness by the financial institutions: From only legal measures data at the beginning, the Artemis database contains today a full array of financial behavior data, placing Artemis high compared to other credit bureaus at European level regarding the completeness of data. Another important achievement was the development of a new, upgraded data exchange software system which was custom-designed by Artemis to meet the specific needs of the users in the Cyprus banking sector and developed entirely by JCC Payment Systems Ltd. Artemis implements continuous enhancements to its System with an aim to constantly increase its value to the users.

At the same time, Artemis, being fully aware of the importance of its mission and the responsibility undertaken in safeguarding the public interest, continues to place high importance to the respect and protection of individuals’ rights and provides all means for exercising their legal rights.

The year 2018 was a year of consolidation in the operations of Artemis as the company further developed its infrastructure and services with an aim to increase the efficiency in servicing financial institutions and the Public but also to ensure compliance with the newly established General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The categories of Artemis’ data recipients were expanded to include Credit Acquiring Companies.

Artemis enjoys today a positive image in the financial sector and is valued as a trusted Data Controller and provider. A recent example was the assignment to Artemis of the role of the host for the software and the database of the ESTIA project, which is currently at the preparation stage. Being an integral part of the financial system, Artemis retains very good cooperation with the Authorities; the Central Bank of Cyprus, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, to the benefit of the financial sector, the Cyprus economy and the citizens.

Artemis has a clear strategic roadmap which is similar to the path followed by well-established Credit Bureaus abroad, aiming to strengthen further its role in safeguarding commercial credit, mitigating credit risk and promoting the reliability of transactions. The implementation of its strategy will allow Artemis to further increase its value to its stakeholders in the ecosystem. Artemis has plans to enter new sectors which are also in need of creditworthiness information exchange and for this purpose, several new projects and initiatives are currently underway.

Credit reporting systems are key to supporting the development of a country’s financial infrastructure and economy. Artemis, as a Credit Bureau, feels proud for its achievements so far and looks forward to a bright future lying ahead.

Christina Antoniou Pierides
Christina Antoniou Pierides
Senior Advisor / ACB