01 October 2003

Richard Fawcett

Important - The information in this article is provided subject to the disclaimer. The law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.

The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data has approved amendments to the Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data. The amendments took effect from 2 June 2003. The Code provides practical guidance to financial institutions and credit reference agencies in the handling of consumer credit data.

In response to the financial industry’s proposals to alleviate the impact of increasing levels of consumer indebtedness and the increasing number of personal bankruptcies, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCO) conducted a public consultation exercise in August 2002 to gauge public opinion on a number of proposals to allow credit providers to share to a greater extent positive credit data via credit reference agencies. A total of 282 submissions were received. Respondents generally supported the PCO’s proposals.

After careful consideration of the submissions, the Code has been revised to allow a wider range of positive consumer credit data to be shared between financial institutions and credit reference agencies. Safeguards in relation to the amendments have been imposed to protect individuals’ personal data privacy.

Copies of the revised Code and of a fact sheet designed to help the general public understand how their credit data should be handled by financial institutions and credit reference agencies under the Code, are available for download from the PCO website ( under the section “Publications and Videos”.

For further information, please contact Richard Fawcett