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China Regulates Credit Information

According to a press release of the Legislative Affairs Office of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Wen Jiabao, presiding over a State Council executive meeting, examined and adopted the “Credit Management Ordinance”.

The legislation covers consumer and commercial credit information and took several years of extensive consultation between the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, the People’s Bank of China, members of BIIA, the user community and experts from BIIA regulatory committee.

China recognizes that credit information is an essential component of the credit infrastructure to guard against credit risk.  The Credit Reporting Industry Management Ordinance (draft) covers the collection, collation, preservation, processing personal or business credit information, and information provided by the user of credit information business.”  The draft stipulates that the regulator is the People’s Bank of China.  The People’s Bank of China has the right to draft more stringent conditions and the appropriate approval process required for starting credit information companies in China.

People’s Bank statistics indicate that as of the end of 2011, the personal credit information system of the Credit Reference Center of the People’s Bank, included information on 800 million people, with a total annual number of credit inquiries of $240 million.  Enterprise credit system (corporate and other organizations), amounted to 18 million entities; the total annual number of credit inquiries amounted to 69,300,000.

Consumer credit information is still managed by Credit Reference Center of the People’s Bank of China.  Private sector information companies are still not permitted to process consumer information.  Private sector commercial credit information can operate in China but lack access to bank and public sector information.   It is hoped that the new regulations will speed the development of a private sector credit information industry, permitting access to the Credit Reference Center and Public Sector Information.

BIIA anticipates further revisions to the draft will be made during the 2013, especially guidelines as to approval process, further definitions and guidelines concerning inspections and compliance.

Source:  Legislative Affairs Office of the People’s Republic of China

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