Singapore central bank seeks to regulate credit bureaus

SINGAPORE Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:23am EDT

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SINGAPORE Aug 12 (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank on Tuesday said it is seeking public feedback on a draft bill aimed at policing the way credit bureaus handle consumers' financial history data.

Credit bureaus compile data such as a person's borrowing history which banks and other financial institutions use to decide whether and how much to lend.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is proposing to license credit bureaus and subject them to regulatory requirements.

"A key focus of these requirements will be for credit bureaus and their members to ensure data confidentiality, security and integrity," the MAS said in a statement.

The draft bill includes regulation on how bureaus store their data and obligations to promptly correct any mistakes in their records

The United States similarly regulated credit bureaus in 2012 after the financial crisis prompted banks to become increasingly reliant on their data when making lending decisions.

The MAS's bill also proposes giving consumers the right to obtain free copies of their credit reports from banks or credit card companies after having a credit application approved or rejected.

Consultation on the bill will run until Sept. 12. It will need to be approved by parliament before it can be signed into law. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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