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Financial services to be improved for small, micro enterprises

Updated: Mar 13, 2019 chinadaily.com.cn Print
A clerk counts cash at a bank in Huaibei, Anhui province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China's banking and insurance regulator announced on Wednesday it had issued a notice to local regulators and banking institutions, demanding they further improve the quality and effect of financial services for small and micro-sized enterprises.

To encourage banks offering loans to small businesses, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said it has lowered the nonperforming loan ratio requirement for small and micro-sized enterprises with a total credit line of up to 10 million yuan ($1.49 million) for each borrower, allowing the NPL ratio for this type of loan to be 3 percentage points higher than that of various types of loans.

The regulator emphasized that growth of this type of loan throughout 2019 should not be lower than growth of various types of loans, and the number of enterprises obtaining such loans should not be lower than that of the previous year.

China's five largest State-owned commercial banks by assets are expected to take the lead, so that their overall balance of this type of loan will increase by more than 30 percent from the beginning of the year.

The commission also urged banks to deepen their construction of professional mechanisms to provide stronger incentives for client managers to serve small and micro-sized enterprises, explore online lending services by further strengthening their integration with the internet and big data, and optimize the measures to monitor and analyze the flow of loans.

Meanwhile, the regulator will improve relevant rules and regulations to encourage commercial banks to step up financial support for small businesses.

As of the end of 2018, the balance of loans offered by banking institutions to small and micro-sized enterprises, as well as small and micro-business owners, was 33.49 trillion yuan.

Among the total, the balance of small and micro-sized enterprise loans with a total credit line of no more than 10 million yuan for each borrower increased by 21.79 percent from the beginning of last year to 9.36 trillion yuan.

In the fourth quarter of last year, the average interest rate of new bank loans to small and micro-sized enterprises with a total credit line of no more than 10 million yuan for each borrower was 7.02 percent, down by 0.8 percentage point from the first quarter, according to the commission.

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