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A Credit Bureau Founded by Bank of China (1932)


 

In the 1820s in Shanghai, the Japanese opened Shanghai Credit Society and Tokyo Credit Society, and the American opened Commercial Credit Bureau. However, there was not a single credit bureau founded by the Chinese.

In March 1932, Bank of China initiated China Credit Society with such members as Bank of China, Shanghai Commercial Savings Bank, Zhejiang Industrial Bank, Bank of Communications, the Four-Bank Deposit Association and the Central Bank. It was an academic society mainly engaged in research of credit bureau and credit investigation methods, specializing in investigation of industrial and commercial credit and delivery of market updates.

On June 6, 1932, the China Credit Bureau was formally founded, consisting of the members of China Credit Society and 19 institutions (such as Shanghai Chinese Mercantile Bank) as well as other 34 members including foreign banks and companies. As an allied credit investigation institution targeting domestic banks, the establishment of China Credit Bureau was a starting point of China's credit bureau industry.

The China Credit Bureau mainly dealt with credit investigation, collection and filing of information about undertakings, properties and markets of commercial and industrial enterprises and individuals; and preparation of reports or publications which were distributed to members and sold to enterprises and individuals.

On May 15, 1934, the China Credit Bureau was restructured into China Credit Bureau Joint Stock Co., Ltd. Later, it set up branches in Tianjin and Hankou. By November 1935, it had drawn 154 members, accepting 20 to 30 requests each day on average. From the date of its foundation to July 1936, it issued about 30,000 investigation reports, which were well-accepted by the public. Quite a few of foreign banks and even the American commercial counselor became ordinary members of the agency.

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