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China has 659 rural commercial banks by September

Updated: Dec 15,2014 9:35 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — There were 659 rural commercial banks registered across China by September, with combined assets surpassing 10 trillion yuan ($1.64 trillion), a top industry watchdog said on Dec 15.

The number of rural commercial banks represented an increase of 40.8 percent from 468 at the end of last year, figures from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) showed.

The total assets and loans of these rural commercial banks reached 10.4 trillion yuan and 5.4 trillion yuan by the end of September, respectively, said the CBRC.

In recent years, many Chinese rural commercial banks have been transformed from rural credit unions to better finance the agricultural sector and farmers, as financing bottleneck is a common challenge for small farms, experts said.

Financing for the rural economy should be given the top priority. Rural commercial banks at city levels as well as those at county levels and with assets more than 10 billion yuan should publicize details of their financing support for the rural economy in line with publication of their financial reports, the CBRC said in a policy guidance.