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China makes progress in curbing banking sector risks

Updated: Dec 4,2017 1:51 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has made progress in reining in risks in its banking sector, with interbank business curbed, a banking regulator said on Dec 1.

By the end of October, interbank assets and liabilities, major indicators for shadow-banking activities, had dropped 3.4 trillion yuan ($514.6 billion) and 1.4 trillion yuan respectively from the beginning of this year, said Xiao Yuanqi, head of the prudential regulation bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

The growth in the value of wealth management products (WMPs) slowed to 4.7 percent, down 26.5 percentage points from a year earlier, Xiao told a press briefing.

Interbank WMPs recorded a net decrease of 2.7 trillion yuan in the first 10 months, while off-balance-sheet business growth had slowed to 16.1 percent by the end of October from an annual rate of over 50 percent in the past few years, according to Xiao.

New entrusted loans and special-purpose vehicles, both playing major roles in shadow banking, fell 896.1 billion yuan and 5.1 trillion yuan year on year, respectively, in the first 10 months.

Shadow banking, which takes place outside regulatory scope, remains a key source of risks to financial stability following years of rapid growth.

The CBRC also stepped up crackdown on lawbreaking and disorder in the market, punishing 1,486 banking institutions and 1,096 individuals in the January-October period, imposing around 600 million yuan of fines in total.

Fewer severe wrongdoings have occurred this year as authorities have tightened regulations, and the banking sector has become better secured against risks, Xiao said.

Commercial banks’ capital adequacy ratio stood at 13.3 percent, and their provision coverage ratio neared 180 percent, both at relatively high levels, he told reporters.

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