The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has seen a rise in complaints about banks using debt-collection agencies to recover overdue loans. The authority did not give figures. A survey in August showed 62 banks employed debt collectors, up from 60 in February. 'The rising number of complaints has already aroused public concern about the improper behaviour of debt collection agencies,' the authority said. It urged all banks to follow the Code of Banking Practice's requirements on use of debt collectors. The survey was the authority's second on compliance with the code since it was implemented in July last year. The code aims to provide guidelines to help banks to improve their services to customers and their use of agencies. The survey showed 11 per cent of banks had failed to follow the code and report illegal behaviour by debt collection agencies to the police. About a third of banks had fully complied with the code, although 91 per cent claimed they had complied with 90 per cent of its requirements. One serious breach saw only two banks set a maximum liability on lost cards at $500 or less, with the remaining 93 per cent of card issuers setting a limit equivalent to the approved credit limit. The authority said this undermined the spirit of the code, and that it was actively seeking ways to improve the situation. Other examples of non-compliance included: 46 per cent did not include fees and charges in the form of annualised percentage rate. 20 per cent had no mechanism to inform customers of their right to prevent the use of their personal information for marketing purposes. 20 per cent failed to provide their terms and conditions of services in Chinese and English. 22 per cent failed to display a schedule of fees and charges.