China has been looking to create a credit scoring system seen in many developed economies like the U.S. and the U.K.; initially asking 8 top companies to be involved, though they found it hard to form as companies were unwilling to share proprietary data with competitors; the PBoC is now tasked with having a industry wide system that does not favor giants like Alibaba and Tencent. Source.
While Alibaba’s Sesame Credit has increased access to loans in China the government recently told them to stop a national rollout of the program; John Gapper from the FT writes that there are three main issues behind social credit scores in China; technology companies have a more liberal attitude than banks when it comes to data; social credit scores seem to promote spending and more credit where as a traditional FICO score rewards a user for self control; the scores are proprietary to the companies who created them like Alibaba did with Sesame Credit. Source.
One of Ant Financial’s subsidiaries is Zhima or Sesame Credit; it is a private third party credit scoring service and clarified that it does not share user scores or underlying data with any third party including the government without the user’s prior consent; they point out in their response that they also do not monitor the content of users’ social media posts and share how the service works. Source
Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, added a provision to the bill for the FHFA to review credit scoring alternatives; the FHFA currently uses FICO’s classic scoring model for loan applicants; the provision adds a new piece to the ongoing argument occurring between FICO and VantageScore; FICO and some lawmakers say the FHFA is already going through a review process for credit scores; the FHFA did ask for input on new scoring models in December and is working through the comment process. Source.
FICO CEO Will Lansing said some banks are confusing customers by using a different score which he has dubbed Fako; VantageScore, the company behind the alternative scores, says their scoring is used by thousands of lenders for credit decisions and FICO is upset over competition; FICO is the most widely used credit scoring method as trillions worth of loans have been extended using FICO; JP Morgan Chase and Capital One both use VantageScore to help customers stay alerted about their credit health and not necessarily to underwrite loans. Source.