China has decided to start on a trial basis to provide more rural financial products and services in nine provinces, the central bank said.
In a statement posted on its official website late on Friday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said it had joined hand with the China Banking Regulatory Commission to issue a guideline document, asking commercial banks to improve their financial services in rural areas.
PBOC said such financial services would be first started on trial in grain-producing areas and counties with solid economic development in six central provinces and three northeastern provinces.
The central bank required commercial banks to improve their service network in the countryside and divert more funds to support rural economic growth.
Chinese commercial banks were demanded to provide more petty-sum credit loans and group guarantee loans to farmers. They were also asked to create more loan guarantee methods.
The nine provinces were Anhui, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. PBOC said each province was allowed to select two or three county-level areas and allow commercial banks to start trial operation.
The decision was designed to push forward financial reform in the countryside and renovate the financial system in rural areas, which was stated in the communique adopted by the Third Plenary Session of the 17th Communist Party of China Central Committee, according to the central bank.
The plenum, which focused on issues concerning rural reform and development and ended on Sunday, said in the communique it would strive to double the per-capita disposable income of rural residents by 2020 from the current level.
(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2008)