SCIO briefing on China's financial statistics in H1 2021

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Economic Daily:

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have played an important role in promoting economic growth and stabilizing employment. In recent years, the PBC has rolled out a series of measures. What have been the results of these measures? What other innovative measures will be adopted to further support the development of MSMEs? Thank you. 

Zou Lan: 

This year, the PBC has firmly implemented the arrangements and decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to ensure stability on the six fronts (employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and market expectations) and maintain security in the six areas (residential employment, people's livelihood, market entities, food and energy, stability of industrial and supply chains, and grassroots operations). We have adhered to the principles of adopting long- and short-term policies and have addressed both the symptoms and root causes in order to improve financial services for market entities such as small and micro enterprises. We have made achievements in the following aspects. 

First, the financing of small and micro enterprises saw an increase in amount and scope and a decrease in cost. At the end of June, the outstanding balance of loans to small and micro businesses under inclusive financial services, as introduced by Ms. Ruan, amounted to 17.7 trillion yuan, increasing 31% year-on-year. A total of 38.3 million small and micro businesses were supported, increasing by 29.2% year-on-year. In May, the interest rate of loans to small and micro businesses with single-client credit lines under 10 million yuan was 4.93%, down by 0.3 percentage point year-on-year. 

Second, the two monetary policy instruments that can directly stimulate the real economy exerted remarkable effects. From 2020 to May of 2021, the financial institutes in the banking industry have postponed principal and interest repayments across China on 10.9 trillion yuan of loans and issued 6.3 trillion yuan in credit loans to small and micro businesses under inclusive finance services. 

Third, support for enterprises in key industries has been further expanded. By the end of May, a key enterprise database, including 383,000 key enterprises across China, was established. The financial institutes have provided loans of 7 trillion yuan to 180,000 enterprises, creating about 30 million jobs. 

Besides, in terms of reducing fees and making interest concessions, since this year, the PBC has been unleashing dividends of the LPR reform, improving supervision on deposit interest rates, and reducing the costs of debt for banks. We have launched 12 measures to cut fees for five categories of services, namely bank account services, RMB settlements, e-banking, bankcard use, and payment account services. We have decreased service charges for cash withdrawals across ATMs of different banks with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. According to our estimates, annual service charge reductions following implementation of the measures will amount to 24 billion yuan, of which over 16 billion will be saved among small and micro enterprises and self-employed workers. In the first six months, the average interest rate in enterprise contracts was 4.41%, down by 0.28 percentage point year-on-year. In general, the financial system has intensified support for the real economy and made financing more convenient for enterprises; total financing costs decreased while ensuring stability. 

For the next step, the PBC will ensure the continuity and stability of policies and carry out the program to improve financial services for MSMEs. We will also introduce a specialized program themed “providing loans for small businesses, improving people's well-being” to scale up financial support for self-employed workers. We will continue to improve financial services for small and micro enterprises and other market entities. Thank you. 

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