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China steps up personal credit management

2013-10-30 08:15 Xinhua Web Editor: qindexing

People living in nine provincial-level regions, including Beijing and Guangdong, can now look up their personal credit reports using an online inquiry service.

The service was available from Monday.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC). or the central bank, started building its database of credit information in 2006, providing a yardstick for financial institutions to measure an individual's trustworthiness, especially when providing a loan.

According to a blue paper published by China Banking Association, the country's financial institutions issued 330 million credit cards by the end of 2012, with annual trading of 10 trillion yuan (1.63 trillion U.S. dollars).

The database collected information on 820 million individuals, among which 290 million had personal credit files.

Nevertheless, members of the public often do not know how credit works. "Although the credit system has been running for seven years, it may still be alien to a lot of people. They don't know how it works, or what is its use," said He Gejun, an account manager from a Shenzhen-based commercial bank.

Yang Shuangquan, a news website editor, said that he used to forget to pay his loan on time, as he has two credit cards with different due dates. Not until he considered to apply for a loan to buy a house, did he realize the seriousness.

PBOC data showed that banks' outstanding loans for home purchases stood at 8.7 trillion yuan as of the end of September.

The new platform is expected to draw public attention to personal credit records and help make credit management a part of people's daily routine, said Chang Sheng, general manager of Allwin Credit.

The system is another form of credit tracking in China and the service will be available to the whole population in the first half of 2014, according to sources with the central bank.

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