Commercial banks should focus more on small firms: official

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/12/6 21:18:40

City commercial banks in China should lend more to small businesses to boost the private sector and address regional economic disparities in the nation, a senior banking regulator said in remarks late on Tuesday.

Wang Zhaoxing, vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), said growth in city commercial banks has supported the private sector and provided more credit to small enterprises.

But it is the "the duty" of banks to improve services for small businesses, and they should strive to reduce fees and offer new financial products, Wang said in a speech at the annual meeting of China city commercial banks on Tuesday, adding that too much lending is focused on real estate and sectors that have excess capacity.

The banks need to extend their coverage in rural areas and do more to promote innovation and the development of strategic industries, he said.

Total assets at China's city commercial banks reached 30.5 trillion yuan ($4.6 trillion) at the end of September, up 166.9 percent from five years previously and accounting for 12.7 percent of the country's total banking industry.

Loans from city commercial banks reached 11.7 trillion yuan as of the end of September, 38.2 percent of their total assets. Loans to small and micro-sized enterprises accounted for 44.1 percent of that total, up 8.26 percentage points compared with five years previously.

Wang said that there are still considerable risks facing China's banking sector, including persistent regional economic imbalances. The rapid growth in financial markets and high rates of leverage at commercial banks have also posed liquidity risks.


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