The Credit Reference Center of the People’s Bank of China

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    The Credit Reference Center of the People’s Bank of China (中国人民银行征信中心) (CRC) is the directly administered credit information agency of the Chinese central bank, being the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

    CRC was first established in March 2006 with the approval of the State Commission Office for Republic Sector Reform, as a legal person entity that is directly subordinate to PBOC.

    In 1997 PBOC commenced preparations to establish a bank loan registration inquiry system, which became the predecessor of its enterprise credit system.

    During the period from 2004 to 2006 PBOC worked with domestic financial institutions to establish a nationwide, centralised enterprise and personal credit system.

    CRC’s chief responsibility is the establishment, operation and management of an enterprise and personal credit system and a movable property financial registration notification system in accordance with both China’s national laws and regulations and PBOC’s articles.

    CRC’s enterprise and personal credit system is officially referred to as a “financial credit information foundational data base” (金融信用信息基础数据库).

    On 1 October 2007 CRC established the accounts receivable pledge registration system and commenced the provision of services externally.

    In May 2008 CRC’s sign-unveiling ceremony was held in Shanghai, at its registered headquarters in Shanghai’s Pudong New District.

    The “Credit Sector Administrative Regulations” (征信业管理条例) promulgated on 15 March 2013 served to clarify CRC’s status as a “state-founded financial credit information foundational database.”

    According to its official website CRC has established sub-branches in 31 provinces and five municipalities.

    In June PBOC officials announced that CRC had become the world’s largest credit information system in terms of pop­u­la­tion and data cov­er­age, pro­vid­ing stan­dard­ised credit files for every sin­gle per­son or com­pany in China that en­gages in credit-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

    As of June 2019 PBOC’s credit sys­tem had col­lected in­for­ma­tion on 990 mil­lion nat­ural per­sons and 25.91 mil­lion en­ter­prises and other in­sti­tu­tions, while each day the sys­tem was used to make ap­prox­i­mately 5.5 mil­lion in­quiries on the credit stand­ing of in­di­vid­u­als and 300,000 in­quiries on en­ter­prises.

    In 2018 alone 21 na­tion­wide Chi­nese bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions made use of the credit sys­tem to refuse 911.7 bil­lion yuan in loan ap­pli­ca­tions from high-risk cus­tomers, as well as is­sue ad­vance warn­ings on 1.3028 tril­lion yuan in out­stand­ing high-risk loans, and clear up 159.4 bil­lion yuan in non-per­form­ing loans.

    In early September 2019 PBOC announced the launch of measures to incorporate all peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in China into CRC.

    The second generation personal inquiry function of PBOC’s credit system was launched on 19 January 2020.

    The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion credit sys­tem provides ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion that the first gen­er­a­tion sys­tem failed to cover, in­clud­ing:

    • Re­volv­ing loans,
    • Large-sum credit card in­stal­ment pay­ments,
    • Joint bor­row­ers,
    • En­ter­prises pro­viding guar­an­tees for in­di­vid­u­als,
    • In­di­vid­u­als pro­vid­ing guar­an­tees for en­ter­prises,
    • Re­pay­ment in­for­ma­tion af­ter falling into ar­rears.
    • Personal repayment information for the past five years.

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