Caixin
Jun 29, 2018 07:00 PM
FINANCE

New Personal Credit Agency Signs Up First Batch of Lenders

*A total of 15 companies have fully connected with the Baihang national personal credit database, which has signed agreements with 120 more entities and secured letters of intent from 50 others

*Baihang’s personal credit data will mostly come from loan repayment information, and will be made available to commercial banks, internet finance firms and eventually the utilities and telecommunication sectors

(Beijing) — China’s efforts to set up a nationwide personal credit database have taken another step forward, with 15 companies signing agreements to provide data to Baihang Credit Scoring, the central bank-backed agency launched in May to pool information from non-traditional lending channels.

The 15 companies are the first batch to fully connect with Baihang’s system, which will collect, organize, and process personal credit data and provide information and search services as well as other value-added offerings.

Among the 15 are U.S.-listed Yirendai Ltd. and PPDai Group Inc., two of China's biggest peer-to-peer lending platforms, and two auto financing companies, FAW Auto Finance Co. Ltd., and Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Auto Finance Co. Ltd.

Five Chongqing-registered small loan companies that are affiliates of major internet and e-commerce firms — search engine Baidu Inc., online on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping, ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing, electronics retailer Suning.com Co. Ltd., and online lender LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. — signed up. The 15 also included six consumer finance companies — Home Credit Consumer Finance Co. Ltd, BOC Consumer Finance Co. Ltd., Merchants Union Consumer Finance Co. Ltd., Mashang Consumer Finance Co. Ltd., Suning Consumer Finance Co. Ltd. and Zhongyuan Consumer Finance Co. Ltd.

More companies are expected to sign up to contribute information to the platform as Baihang has signed data sharing agreements with 120 internet finance and consumer finance institutions and has secured letters of intent from 50 others.

Caixin has previously learned that Baihang’s personal credit data will come primarily from loan repayment information. The data collected will also be available to commercial banks and other traditional financial institutions in addition to internet finance companies. Telecommunications firms, electrical power providers and e-commerce firms are also expected to eventually contribute and use data from the platform.

“Setting a standard for data sharing will be a long process,” said Huang Jianming, head of analysis and strategy at the Greater China practice of Dublin-based consumer credit reporting agency Experian, one of the world's biggest consumer credit reporting agencies. The process will be especially complex for Baihang as it plans to bring together so many different types of companies, but the quality of data cannot be guaranteed until a standard is set, he said.

Baihang was set up in 2017 and officially opened for business in May after getting a license from the People's Bank of China, the central bank, earlier this year. The company aims to fill a gaping hole in the country’s credit system by collecting data from online lenders and other nontraditional sources to rate people’s creditworthiness, much the way credit agencies do in the West.

The National Internet Finance Association of China, an industry association, holds a 36% stake in Baihang. The rest is divided evenly among eight private companies: Zhima Credit, Tencent Credit Services, Pingan Group-affiliate Shenzhen Qianhai Credit, Pengyuan Credit, China Chengxin Credit, Koala Credit, Intellicredit, and Sinoway Credit.

Contact reporter Liu Xiao (liuxiao@caixin.com)

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