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Singapore credit bureaux to be supervised by MAS

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will now license and supervise credit bureaux under a new law designed to protect consumer credit information. 11 Nov 2016

Under the Credit Bureau Bill, MAS will oversee credit bureaux that collect credit information from banks and other financial institutions in Singapore, minister for higher education and skills Ong Ye Kung said.

MAS will ensure that these bureaux take "adequate measures to safeguard the confidentiality, security and integrity of sensitive borrower information" and "better ensure the credit bureaux operate soundly in a way that protects consumer interests", Ong said.

Credit bureaux are collecting increasing amounts of information about customers and the current regulatory regime is inadequate as it only allows MAS to either recognise a bureau or revoke its recognition, he said.

MAS will now be able to licence and supervise the bureaux, and ensure they operate in a way that protects consumers. It will be able to approve the appointment and removal of senior management, and any controlling shareholdings, Ong said.

In addition, MAS will be able to assume control of bureaux if they are in distress, Ong said.

The bill has been modelled on similar regimes in other countries, including Australia and the US, he said.  

Last year Singapore set up a 'moneylender credit bureau' to protect licensed moneylenders and their customers. The Singapore Ministry of Law appointed DP Information Group to run the Moneylenders Credit Bureau which requires all licensed moneylenders to provide information on their loans and the payment behaviour of their customers. This information can then be accessed by other licensed moneylenders when evaluating a potential loan.

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