BEIJING — China’s loan for agriculture stood at 23.6 trillion yuan ($3.84 trillion) in 2014, up 13 percent year on year, according to a central bank’s report released on March 25.
The volume took up 28.1 percent of the country’s year-round total loans, and its growth rate is 0.7 percentage point higher than the average growth speed of other loans, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said.
Lu Lei, head of the PBOC’s research department, said the two cuts to reserve requirement ratio (RRR) have greatly boosted development in rural areas.
The RRR was cut twice last year for banks engaged in lending to agriculture, by 2 percentage points in April and 0.5 percentage points in June.
The central bank will encourage commercial banks to provide more credit to small businesses without a sharp expansion in total loan volume.
Lu said supporting rural finance should include payment and settlement networks, rural bank cards, property records and mobile connectivity.
“One of the major problems is lack of information and Internet, necessary in developing modern agriculture,” Lu said.
More institutions and companies are expanding their coverage to achieve mobile transactions without banks or ATMs, he said.
“Fewer outlets cut costs for both institutions and customers.” Lu explained. “This will boost Internet finance.”
He said there is no conflict between traditional financial institutions and Internet enterprises.