Final Word from Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Doubts about the Czech Credit Bureau (CCB) have existed since its beginning. Euro reported that when CCB won the Bank Association contract to set up a rating program, the head of the tender committee was Pavel Finger. Now he's the head of CCB. Another person who has resurfaced is ex-Prague City Councilor Filip Dvořák. He's a vice chair at the Prague Chamber of Commerce, which has launched a credit-rating program with CCB for small and midsize firms. Dvořák was forced off the city council a year ago by a corruption scandal. He was known as ODS's fixer at city hall. Now he's helping to oversee credit ratings, which are a key factor in a bank's decision to lend money. A rating report is useful if it accurately reflects the borrower's financial position. If it's based on back-scratching or palm-greasing, though, it's just another way to rob a bank.


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