Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of inclusive finance during the State Council executive meeting on May 3, as he referenced The Money Changers, a book written by Canadian writer Arthur Hailey.
“The book tells a story of competition between two banks, one of which lost the battle due to its ignorance of small and micro businesses. If you neglect inclusive finance, you also ignore the sources of deposit and loan,” Premier Li said.
The meeting on May 3 focused on the establishment of inclusive finance in large- and medium-sized commercial banks in order to improve services for small and micro businesses as well as agriculture.
Large commercial banks will establish inclusive finance departments by the end of 2017.
Introduced by the United Nations, inclusive finance is defined as proper and effective financial services provided for all social classes and groups.
Inclusive finance is important to development and fairness, which can help tackle financing difficulties for small and micro businesses and agricultural development while supporting development of the real economy and boosting employment, according to the Premier.
After two years of in-depth study on banks, the writer of The Money Changers drew a conclusion that small and micro businesses can bring back long-term and stable rewards to banks. So, large commercial banks should become backbones for inclusive finance, the Premier said.
This was not the first time that Premier Li quoted the book The Money Changers as he once introduced the story at a State Council executive meeting in 2014, saying that a commercial bank should not only do big business but also work with small businesses, which can help banks succeed.
In this year’s government work report, he encouraged commercial banks to set up an inclusive finance department and urged State-owned banks to take the lead.
During a previous visit to a private bank in Zhejiang province, Premier Li recommended The Money Changers to the bank’s leaders, saying that the book shows how to provide services for small and micro businesses and encouraged the bankers can also become such financial service providers.
Financial service in the real economy is a key point that Premier Li continues to highlight. In fact, inclusive finance is a major policy tool to regulate the economy.
Development of inclusive finance is significant to employment and economic upgrades. More financial services should be offered to agriculture, small and micro businesses for the benefit of real economy development, according to the Premier.