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China to Promote Development of Rural Financial Institutions

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The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the banking regulator, said Friday it would introduce four measures to facilitate the development of rural financial institutions.

The CBRC would improve supervision of rural financial institutions, strengthen risk management, encourage their adopting effective corporate governance model, and evaluate the quality of their services, said Zang Jingfan, the supervision department director of the CBRC.

China approved a total of 172 new-type rural financial institutions, including 148 rural banks, 8 lending firms and 16 rural mutual cooperatives by the end of 2009, according to Zang.

Outstanding loans by these institutions totaled 18.1 billion yuan, of which 36 percent went to farmers and more than 50 percent to small businesses, he said.

The government has been trying to boost lending to farmers and companies in the countryside, and the CBRC announced last year a plan to set up 1,293 rural financial institutions by 2011 to boost rural development.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2010)