China to expand online personal credit database nationwide

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will extend a pilot online personal credit database to cover the whole country this year, the central bank said on Wednesday, in the latest effort to build up a credit culture as the government looks to make the economy more consumption driven.

The system, which tracks individuals' private credit information, was first launched in Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces and Chongqing city in March 2013 and currently covers 18 provinces, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website,

The personal credit information that the system provides contains records of personal loans, credit cards and debt delinquency, it added.

People who want to check their own credit information can log on to the website, and the system will give them their personal credit records and reports. The first two checks are free and there is a 25 yuan (S$5) charge for each subsequent check.

Some analysts say China has a long way to go in improving its weak credit culture unless state banks are freed from government influence in loan issuance.

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