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Hong Kong Government to Consider Expansion of Mortgage Database

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s government plans to consider a request by the city’s financial-services industry to allow them to widen the scope of credit checks on clients’ mortgage borrowing history.

The government will seek public feedback until Feb. 8 on the proposed expansion of the data-sharing system to include positive and negative credit history for homes and non-residential properties, Allan Chiang, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, said in Hong Kong today.

“We welcome the consultation,” David Lam, acting chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Banks and deputy chief executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., said at the press briefing.

Under the current system, banks can share only negative data for customers’ housing mortgages, while both positive and negative data is available for unsecured debt such as credit card borrowings.

“The expansion will allow banks to assess home buyers’ credit status more comprehensively and avoid over-leveraging by some clients, helping curb speculation in the property market,” said Lam.

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong at stong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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