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Amendments to Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data To Take Effect

 


Date: 31 March 2011
Amendments to Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data To Take Effect

1.    The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Mr. Allan Chiang announced some major amendments to the Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data (“the Code”).

2.    The Code provides practical guidance to financial institutions and credit reference agency (“CRA”) in the handling of consumer credit data.

3.    There are 3 sets of amendments to the Code.  The first set of amendments, which will take effect from 1 April 2011, relate to the expansion of sharing of mortgage data among credit providers through the CRA to include both positive and negative mortgage data for residential as well as non-residential properties.  The expanded data sharing was proposed by the financial services industry to facilitate comprehensive credit assessment of primarily applicants for mortgage loans, thereby promoting responsible borrowing and prudent lending.

4.    To help the general public understand how credit providers and CRA handle their credit data and the consumers’ privacy rights in this regard, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (the “PCPD”) will publish a fact sheet titled “Understanding the Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data: Common Questions on the Sharing of Mortgage Data for Credit Assessment Purpose” (the “Fact Sheet”).

5.    The second set of amendments, which will take effect from 1 July 2011, obliges the credit providers to update promptly the CRA database upon the occurrence of certain events (e.g. repayment in full or in part of any amount in default) and in the case where a request for updating is made by an individual, not later than 14 days from the date of receiving the request.  With effect from the same date, "gender" will also be excluded from the scope of personal data to be collected and retained by CRA.

6.    The third set of amendments, which will take effect from a date to be further notified by the Privacy Commissioner, relate to the retention of data in relation to write-off accounts due to a bankruptcy order being made.

7.    The revised Code and the Fact Sheet will be available for download from the PCPD website under the sections "The Ordinance/Codes of Practice" (www.pcpd.org.hk/english/ordinance/codes.html) and “Publications and Videos”(www.pcpd.org.hk/english/publications/code_pra_ex.html) respectively.  They can also be obtained from the PCPD at 12/F., 248 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.  The Fact Sheet will also be available at Public Enquiry Centres of District Offices from 4 April 2011 onwards. 

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