Interview with Luis Carmona, International Manager at INFORMA and Vice-president at FEBIS (Federation of Business Information Services)

"Through information and analysis, FEBIS facilitates business activity." Luis Carmona (INFORMA)


What is FEBIS?


FEBIS (Federation of Business Information Services) was created in the early 70's as an association of companies in the informediary sector and has been gaining notoriety to currently have more than 150 members worldwide. FEBIS is the world reference, representing the business information sector in Europe.


The mission of FEBIS is to promote the business information industry and support the needs and interests of business information providers and associated service providers for their customers.


Through information and analysis, FEBIS members facilitate business activity, usually focused on B2B credit, that develops existing business relationships and creates new ones.


In addition, the organization's vision is clear: FEBIS will build and support the most comprehensive and inclusive member network of business information providers and associated service providers, to help its members connect and stay informed about key activities and developments within the industry.


After celebrating 50 years of existence and assuming your new position as vice-president, what were the new developments discussed at your last general assembly, held in Hamburg last September?


The last general assembly led to strategic decisions for the organization, of relevance and that design the future lines of development.


First of all, a new organizational structure has been approved that will allow FEBIS to professionalize and advance in visibility and influence.


Specifically, the organizational chart until now was:

  • Secretary General
  • Secretariat
  • Institutional and public affairs Coordinator
  • Regulatory Committee – Senior Policy Advisers
  • External relations Committee
  • Marketing and Communications Committee
  • FEBIS Board
  • Membership

To which it has been decided to add:

  • Legal Counsel
  • Communications and back up Officer
  • Cabinet of Public Affairs and Advocacy, based in Brussels

Secondly, a new and outstanding initiative has materialized, led by Luis Gonçalves (Chief Information Security Officer  of the INFORMA Group): the creation of the first Cybersecurity Expert Group.

This initiative has aroused a lot of expectation and will start with the participation of INFORMA, Creditreform, Crif and Experian. One of its main goals is to encourage members to collaborate and share experiences, strategies, intelligence, best practices, and technological knowledge.


In the long term, this group of experts has the will and potential to become an ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center). These information sharing and analysis centers offer industry- or sector-specific collaboration and, in turn, information sharing with other organizations and government agencies.

In turn, as an ISAC, FEBIS will have the ability to have its position heard:

  • In policymaking, regulation, and industry standards.
  • Interacting with external regulators or policy-making bodies.
  • Endorsing regulations and Cybersecurity practices beneficial to the industry.

And, thirdly, FEBIS has opted for its international activity by being an active member of multilateral organizations. Through his participation in the World Bank's standing committee – ICCR (International Committee on Credit Reporting) – he has promoted the creation of a working group on ESG, chaired by the Bundesbanbk and co-chaired by FEBIS itself. The main task of this WP will be to define standards and recommendations that help improve sustainability in credit reporting systems.


FEBIS is an international organization and each of the member countries has its own legislation. How do you manage the regulatory and legal part internally?


With a new initiative: a regulatory committee, structured with the Regulatory and Public Affairs and advocacy  resources approved in the new organizational structure.

At the same time, we incorporated the creation of the National Associations Platform, made up of associations from Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom. This platform will provide a new vision and interpretation of European legislation, as well as of the initiatives taken in each national jurisdiction.

Under the umbrella of FEBIS, in the future it could lead to the creation of a permanent representation commission of our industry and, in parallel and subsequently, to a greater and ambitious representation in Brussels of the "Business data platform", which would include information providers, as well as organizations of their users.


In your opinion, where is the sector headed? What will be the medium-term scenario?


The industry faces complex challenges, requiring innovative solutions and continuous adaptability to meet the demanding demands of a global and tremendously dynamic business environment.

The most significant examples would be:

  • Ability to survive in markets under the parameters of new legislative frameworks that on the one hand require ingenuity and innovation and on the other limit access to certain data and can transform the way in which it can be used.
  • The need to adapt to an increasingly global and complicated business environment driven by the evolution of technologies and new regulatory requirements.
  • Transformation in consumer behaviour and in the access and use of information.
  • The main pending issue, for all the actors in the sector, will be to achieve the cultural change that this new environment requires.


Source: Empresa Actual/Informa

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