II. Consumer credit data (relating to records of any loan or credit provided by banks or financial institutions)
The Privacy Commissioner's Office first issued a Code of Practice on Consumer Credit Data under the Ordinance in February 1998. It was revised in April 2011 . Any breach of the Code may be used as evidence in any legal proceedings relating to the Ordinance against the relevant data user.
The Code governs the sharing and use of consumer credit data by credit providers (including banks and financial institutions but excluding persons who lend money to friends/relatives) through a credit reference agency ("CRA") . Under the Code, consumer credit data refer to personal data relating to an individual's consumer credit transactions collected by a credit provider in connection with the provision of consumer credit. Consumer credit generally means any loans, overdraft facilities or other kinds of credit provided by a credit provider to and for the use of an individual.
Credit providers, who subscribe to the service of a CRA, may provide consumer credit data to the CRA and in return obtain credit reports (see question 1 below) of individuals for credit checking and assessment purposes. For example, when you apply for a credit card, loan or overdraft facility, hire purchase or leasing arrangement with a bank, the bank may obtain a credit report about you from a CRA. The bank makes reference to information in your credit report to assess your credit worthiness and repayment ability. If you have been granted a loan or credit facility, the bank may report your credit data to the CRA. In the event of any default in repayment, the bank may pass your credit information to a debt collection agency for collection of payment (but not for other purposes), and may also report such data to the CRA.
The above questions and answers only highlight the general points of the Code. For further information, please refer to the whole content of the Code on the PCO webpage . It is recommended that you contact the PCO or consult a lawyer if you have any queries about the Code.