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Press Releases

Establishment of Commercial Credit Reference Agency in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) and the Deposit Taking Companies Association (DTCA) announced today (Monday) the plan for the establishment of a commercial credit reference agency (CCRA) in Hong Kong.

The CCRA will collect credit data of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and make this information available to authorized institutions. Generally, organisations will be defined as SMEs if they are unlisted companies with an annual turnover not exceeding HK$50 million.

Mr Joseph Yam, Chief Executive of the HKMA said, "the creation of the CCRA will be an important addition to Hong Kong's banking infrastructure. It will bring about significant benefits to the banking industry's credit risk management, thereby enhancing the safety and soundness of the banking system."

The CCRA will cover only the SME customers of authorized institutions. The consent of each SME will be required before the institutions can pass credit data on it to the CCRA.

Mr Raymond Or, Chairman of HKAB said, "there has been growing public awareness of the need for SMEs to have greater access to credit. The CCRA will help meet the needs of both lenders and borrowers. It will help creditworthy borrowers gain better access to loans more quickly and at more competitive prices."

Data gathered by the CCRA will cover only credit data, such as the total number of credit facilities an SME has obtained from lenders, the limits on these and information about defaults on loans. Information about the company assets or the personal wealth of the owners will be excluded. Lenders will only use the data in relation to the grant, review or renewal of an SME's credit.

Mr Cliff Forster, Chairman of the DTCA said, "we fully support the establishment of a CCRA. It is one important and indispensable first step to base lending to SMEs in Hong Kong more on the borrowing enterprises' performance, with less reliance on collateral."

To ensure that SMEs and the wider public of Hong Kong understand fully the implications of this important step, the industry has begun an educational programme on the CCRA. Some preparatory work, including identification of an appropriate service provider and systems development to cater for the reporting of data, is also needed before the scheme to be operated, hopefully in the third quarter of 2004.

To safeguard the confidentiality of the data held by the CCRA, the HKMA will issue a statutory guideline under the Banking Ordinance to set out data protection guidelines in relation to the use of credit data.

For further enquiries, please contact :

  • Mr Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press) of the HKMA at 2878 1480
  • Ms Rona Morgan, Secretary of HKAB at 2521 1169
  • Mr Frederick Li of DTCA at 2808 5600

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
The Hong Kong Association of Banks
The DTC Association

16 June 2003

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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