Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd. – popularly known as CBS – is the one of the Credit Information Company (CIC) in Singapore. The company is jointly owned by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and Infocredit Holdings Pte Ltd. It began functioning in October 2002 with the objective of assisting banks in managing their financial risk by “collating, synthesising and processing” financial information about individuals. The activities of the CBS are regulated and monitored by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of the country. Under the Banking Act of 2002, the CBS is allowed to collect financial information of consumers and provide it to its member institutions when necessary. Almost every single major bank and financial institution in the country is part of the CBS.
Services Provided By CBS:
CBS collects credit-related information of Singaporean citizens from the participating banks and financial institutions and creates a risk profile of the customers. The bureau’s mission is two-fold: to help banks with determining creditworthiness of the customers, and to protect the credit profile of the customers. A consumer’s credit profile can be obtained by member-lenders whenever any customer listed in the CBS applies for a loan or credit card. The CBS also aims to collate factually accurate data handle it ethically and educate the consumers about their credit risk and improvement.
The main functions of the CBS are as follows:
- Credit reports: The CBS provides credit reports of consumers to both lenders and the consumers themselves. Credit reports are a delineation and analysis of a consumer’s credit history. These reports can be obtained either online or by visiting the CBS offices. Free reports are available for a period of 30 days after you apply for a loan and the bank accepts or rejects your application.
- Credit scores: They provide a credit score to a consumer. Credit score is a 4-digit number between 1000 and 2000 that tells you and the banks whether you are a risky borrower or not. The higher your score, the more reliable your credit repayment is, which makes you a bankable customer. Lenders are likely to reject your loan application if your credit score is low.
- My Credit Monitor: My Credit Monitor (MCM) is a service provided by the CBS to ensure that your credit report is unsullied by anyone else, and to ensure accuracy and prevent identity theft. By registering for MCM, you will be able to keep an eye on any financial activity being carried out in your name, and would be able to prevent any incorrect information from getting into the system and discrediting your reputation. You will receive emails if a lender uploads your information into your credit file, and also alerts you if any loan request is made in your name. In case the uploaded information is false, or the loan request is not made by you, you can let the CBS know and remove the incorrect information from your file after due inquiry. This also ensures that the information in your credit file remains true and your score is unaffected by spurious activities.
- Consumer risk profile: CBS creates risk profile of consumers. By analysing the financial data of consumers, CBS helps predict the probability of the borrowers defaulting on their loans. It helps bankers prevent bad debts, and helps both bankers and consumers understand how to mitigate the risk involved in lending.
- Industry analysis: The bureau analyses the banking industry and credit behaviour of citizens of Singapore. CBS not only collates personal credit information, but also reports statistics about Singaporean credit and the banking industry from time to time. Reports about debt management of consumers in the country, bad debts of banks, specific statistics on credit cards and each type of loans, banking behaviours, etc. are released by the CBS, giving insight into the country’s monetary situation at individual levels.
- Creating a competitive lending market: CBS helps create a competitive consumer lending market in Singapore. Credit bureaus help step up the competition among lenders to approve loans of deserving candidates. Borrowers with good credit scores can expect faster and convenient approvals as the credit report allows lenders to identify good customers and separate husk from grain.
How CBS Works:
CBS receives financial information about consumers from its member banks. So if you have an account with Bank of Singapore, for example, all your monetary transactions done via the bank go into your CBS credit file. If you have dealings with more than one bank, and if all of these banks are members of the CBS, then your credit file will have information collated from all banks where you have an account and have done transactions with.
To ensure protection of your financial identity and data, CBS ensures that only 2 entities can ever access your credit report: you and any member-institution where you have applied for a loan or credit card. The bureau ensures that no one else can access your report for any reason. All accesses made to your credit file are tracked by the CBS, which ensures that unlawful accesses are found and dealt with as per the law. The members are bound by the bureau’s Code of Conduct, and will be held responsible in front of MAS if they fail to adhere to any of the codes specified. Compliance Committees are formed at least twice every year to monitor the collection and use of consumer credit data and investigate any breaches reported against any member. CBS also offers My Credit Monitor services to help the consumers monitor any activity on their credit file.
CBS Credit Report And How To Get It:
CBS credit report consists of the following sections:
- Name of the consumer
- National ID number and Passport number
- Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality and Marital Status
- Location (without complete address)
- Details of who has requested the credit report (self or any banking institution)
- Earliest known credit date
- Number of credit report requests made previously
- Number of bank accounts held (includes saving and loan accounts)
- Number of debt defaults
- Number of bankruptcy proceedings and their details, if any
- Number of entries into debt management programmes
- ID theft cases, if any
- Loan account history with date of opening and closure of the account, outstanding balances, payments made in the last 12 months
- Details of all previous credit report enquiries made by lenders
- Default records
- Debt Repayment Scheme records
- Credit Score and Risk Grade
You can obtain your credit report in 3 ways:
- By logging in to CBS website: To get the credit report online, you need to sign in with your SingPass – Singapore Personal Access – account. SingPass IDs are a common username and password for all online government services. You can register for a SingPass ID by visiting the Singpass website and signing up with your National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or Foreign Identification Number (FIN). You can also request for a SingPass ID via CPF Online Request Service. You need to make a credit card payment of S$6 plus GST via eNets to buy the report.
- By applying physically: You can apply for your credit report at any of the following locations:
- CBS Office, SGX Centre 1
- Any of the 62 SingPost branches
- CrimsonLogic Service Bureau, Chinatown Point
- CASE Office, Ulu Pandan Community Building
- Free report: You can get a free copy of your credit report on approval or rejection of a loan request placed with a CBS member, from April 1, 2016. Within 30 days of getting an approval or rejection letter from the bank, you will be able to download a free copy of your credit report from the CBS website or from the CBS office.
Members Of CBS:
The following financial institutions are members of the CBS:
- American Express
- Bank of China
- Bank of East Asia (BEA)
- Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI)
- Bank of Singapore
- BNP Paribas
- CIMB Bank
- Citi Group
- DBS Bank
- Diners Club International
- HL Bank
- Hong Leong Finance
- HSBC Group
- HSBC Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
- OCBC Bank
- RHB Bank
- Sing Investments and Finance Limited
- Singapura Finance
- Standard Chartered
- State Bank of India
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
- United Overseas Bank (UOB)
- UCO Bank
The Credit Bureau (Singapore) offers a valuable financial service to lenders as well as consumers by analysing debt and financial risks. Banks can depend on the credit reports to provide them with an understanding of the customer and minimise their losses by identifying high-risk customers. The report also helps individuals understand their debt patterns and improve their financial behaviour in order to be considered reliable in the banking market.