Consultation on revised Supervisory Policy Manual (“SPM”) module “The Sharing and Use of Consumer Credit Data through Credit Reference Agencies” (IC-6)

22 February 2021, Banking & Finance, Newsletter by Simon Deane, Randy Lam

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (the “HKMA”) recently issued a consultation on a revised SPM module (IC-6). IC-6 specifies the minimum standards that authorised institutions (“AIs”) should observe in relation to the sharing and use of consumer credit data through credit reference agencies (“CRAs”). The consultation closed on 1 February 2021.

The revisions concern primarily the Multiple Credit Reference Agencies Model (“MCRA Model”), a multiple CRAs model developed by the Hong Kong Association of Banks, the DTC Association and the Hong Kong S.A.R. Licensed Money Lenders Association which enables credit providers to share and use consumer credit data through more than one CRA for the provision of consumer credit reference services. The HKMA expects AIs to share consumer credit data to each and every CRA in the MCRA Model in line with a proposed framework.

According to the revisions, without the need for each individual credit provider to establish a direct bilateral network connection with each individual CRA under the MCRA Model, a Multiple Credit Reference Agencies Platform (“MCRA Platform”) will be introduced and operated by an independent operator as a data switch between participating credit providers and the CRA(s) for the transmission of consumer credit data, credit reports and other relevant information in encrypted form. The MCRA Platform will enable high scalability for credit providers and CRAs to link up, make available a full set of consumer credit data to all CRAs with a master copy as backup, and enhance data protection through proper security and access control arrangements.

The consultation is accessible here: link