BEIJING — China’s inclusive finance services developed steadily last year, supporting rural development, small businesses and poverty relief, according to a new central bank report.
Total outstanding loans for agricultural household production and business stood at 4.69 trillion yuan (about $682 billion) at the end of last year, up 6.51 percent year-on-year, according to a report released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Aug 13.
More banks have been built in rural areas to offer more convenient financial services, with 96 percent of villages and townships having local access, with services in remote and sparsely populated areas also improving.
Meanwhile, lending to small and micro businesses climbed 9.79 percent year-on-year to hit 6.77 trillion yuan, and loans to registered impoverished households soared nearly 30 percent to 324.8 billion yuan, the report showed.
Development of credit systems also proceeded smoothly, with 2.6 million small and micro businesses as well as 175 million agricultural households establishing credit files.
Inclusive finance includes affordable, convenient and safe financial services for farmers, small businesses, those on low incomes, the disabled and elderly.
According to the 2016-2020 Plan on the Development of Inclusive Finance, China aims to build more rural banks, reduce banking costs and encourage innovation in financial products.