Licensing for Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus that conduct consumer and corporate reporting businesses in Singapore are regulated under the Credit Bureau Act.  Find out the assessment criteria, the fees to pay and the application process for a licence to operate a credit bureau.

Licensing and Regulation of Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus collect, use and disclose information relevant to the assessment of a borrower's creditworthiness from banks and other financial institutions which are their members. Credit bureaus in Singapore are regulated under the Credit Bureau Act 2016 (“CBA”)

Entities must hold a licence to conduct any of the following types of business:

  • A consumer credit reporting business.
  • A corporate credit reporting business.
  • Both a consumer credit reporting business and a corporate credit reporting business.

Refer to:

Assessment Criteria

When assessing an entity's application for a licence to operate a credit bureau, MAS takes into consideration (but not limited to) the following factors:

  • The entity's track record and experience in providing credit reporting services, financial soundness and reputation.
  • The fitness and propriety of the licensee, its shareholders, controllers, key executives and directors.
  • Whether the entity's business strategy is well-developed and has sound business plans to ensure the sustainability of the proposed credit bureau.
  • Whether the entity can demonstrate the ability to implement robust risk management systems and processes for its operations, including but not limited to the handling and processing of customer information.

Note: All licensed credit bureaus are required to subscribe as members of the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) .

Application and Licence Fees

Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $4,000 and an annual fee of $60,000 for a licence to operate a credit bureau.

Before You Apply

If you are applying for a licence to operate a credit bureau, you should contact the MAS Payments Department to discuss your plans before you submit a formal application.

Discussing the licensing requirements at an early stage helps to identify issues that may affect your proposed application.

You should have the following information on hand before contacting the MAS Payments Department:

  • Background information about your company, corporate structure, major shareholders, and experience in providing a credit reporting business.
  • Overview of operations in Singapore.
    • This includes information about your planned operations in Singapore, targeted members of the proposed credit bureau, draft plans to comply with key requirements by MAS and preliminary projected financials of the proposed credit bureau.
  • Any other information in support of your potential application.

Licence Renewal and Validity

In general, an approved licence to operate a credit bureau is valid for 5 years, or for a shorter period specified by MAS.

You must apply to renew your licence to operate a credit bureau in writing to MAS at least 6 months before the date the licence expires. Your renewal application should be accompanied by the following:

  • A non‑refundable application fee of $4,000 paid in the manner specified by MAS.
  • Any information required by MAS.
  • (If the renewal application is submitted less than 6 months before the date of expiry of the licence) A late application fee.

Note: A licence to operate a credit bureau is considered to have lapsed if it is not renewed on or before its expiry, upon the occurrence of an event as directed by MAS, or if the licensed credit bureau is wound up or dissolved whether in Singapore or elsewhere.

MAS may also revoke or suspend a licence to operate a credit bureau under certain conditions. Refer to Section 11 of the CBA for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out what are the frequently asked questions about licensed credit bureaus.