National emblem of the People's Republic of ChinaImage via Wikipedia


BEIJING - Banking regulators in China have ordered institutions to tighten controls on risk and carefully scrutinise borrowers' ability to pay their debts in a new step to rein in lending.

The government order comes as Beijing tries to prevent excessive lending that it says could lead to financial problems while ensuring adequate credit to keep the economic recovery on track.

Chinese leaders are worried that a stimulus-driven torrent of lending is fuelling a dangerous bubble in stock and real estate prices. Beijing has ordered banks to set aside additional reserves and to keep lending stable, but the central bank has avoided raising interest rates, which might slow growth.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement that it issued two regulations to increase risk management on personal and working capital loans.

The rules took effect on Feb 12.

The regulation on working capital loans stated that banks must calculate borrowers' actual needs and also consider their cash flow, liabilities, repayment abilities and other factors when assessing loan applications.

On personal lending, the regulation says that borrowers may not obtain loans if they do not specify what the money is to be used for.

Chinese leaders have warned banks repeatedly to keep lending stable this year and avoid financing real estate and industrial projects that are not needed due to fears they might fuel inflation or leave banks burdened with bad debts if poorly planned projects fail.

Banks were ordered on Feb 12 to increase reserves by half a percentage point - to 16.5 per cent for large lenders and to 14.5 per cent for smaller institutions.

The government reported earlier this month that January bank lending rocketed to 1.4 trillion yuan ($290 billion) - nearly one-fifth of the planned 2010 total. AP

From TODAY, Monday, 22-Feb-2010

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Post a Comment