SCIO press conference on forging ahead with confidence, upholding fundamental principles, breaking new ground, supporting high-quality development of real economy

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Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Yi. Now you are welcome to ask questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising your questions.


My question is for Mr. Yi. Special plans and arrangements have been made in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress and at the Central Economic Work Conference to prevent and defuse major economic and financial risks. My question is, up to now, what progress has been made in preventing and defusing financial risks? What are the considerations for the work in the next stage? Thank you.

Yi Gang:

In recent years, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, we have taken many effective measures to fend off and defuse financial risks, safeguarding the bottom line of preventing systemic risks. Financial risks have been contained overall. In dealing with financial risks, we have acted in accordance with market- and law-oriented policies to uphold the stable and sound operation of the financial market and infrastructure. We have ensured overall economic and social stability and effectively protected the interests of all our people. Also, we have adopted market- and law-oriented policies to guard against moral hazards and tighten market discipline. By doing so, he that does good shall find good; he that does evil shall find evil. All stakeholders can see the rules and thus have correct expectations. I would like to speak more about the following aspects: 

First, we have properly defused the risks of key institutions. We decisively took over Baoshang Bank, resolutely broke down rigid payments, and protected the interests of the general public in accordance with related laws. The bankruptcy of Baoshang Bank was the first case of its kind in China since reform and opening-up began. Meanwhile, we steadily defused risks for small and medium financial institutions, including Hengfeng Bank, the Bank of Jinzhou, and other city commercial banks in Liaoning province. Over the past three years, we supported local governments in issuing 550 billion yuan of special bonds to replenish the capital of small and medium banks. The number of high-risk small and medium financial institutions declined by half, from more than 600 to more than 300. There are no high-risk financial institutions in many provinces. Meanwhile, through targeted efforts, we have resolved the risks of high-risk financial groups, including Tomorrow Holdings Group and its units, Anbang Group and its units, China CEFC Energy Company Limited and its units, and HNA Group, avoiding the risk of their sudden collapse and preventing the spread of risks.

Second, we have made significant efforts to address acute problems in the financial sector. We have comprehensively implemented the new rules for asset management. The scale of high-risk shadow banking business, also called "quasi-credit," has shrunk by about 30 trillion yuan. We have promoted a campaign to address risks related to internet finance. Nearly 5,000 P2P online lending institutions have been closed. We have promoted the rectification of financial services of big internet platform enterprises in an orderly manner, placed all types of financial activities under regulation according to laws, regulated private equity, and stepped up efforts to reduce risks of both legal and illegal financial assets exchange. During the past five years, about 25,000 illegal fundraising cases have been investigated and dealt with.

Third, we have improved institutions and mechanisms for preventing and controlling financial risks. According to the decisions of the central government, we have advanced the establishment of financial risk disposal mechanisms led by major local leaders of the Party and the government. All provinces have set up financial risks disposal committees led by provincial leaders to see the responsibilities of financial institutions and their shareholders, supervisory departments, as well as local Party committees and governments. This creates a positive incentive for defusing financial risks. At present, all depository financial institutions nationwide have joined the deposit insurance scheme, which can provide full deposit guarantees for more than 99% of depositors. 

In general, China's financial performance is characterized by prudent, with financial risks shrinking and general risks under control. The banking industry account for more than 90% of China's financial sector, so it is prudent. China's foreign exchange reserves have ranked first in the world for many years. Last year, after continued efforts in the past decade and beyond, the PBC completed writing off the costs of financial reforms for state-owned commercial banks and rural credit cooperatives. This accomplishment further solidified the financial foundation of the modern central bank system and helped ensure currency stability in the financial sector. 

Moving forward, the PBC will collaborate with other financial management departments to enhance and modernize financial supervision, strengthen the system for ensuring financial stability, and tackle financial risks in major sectors. We will maintain high pressure on illegal financial activities and see the responsibilities of all parties to tackle risks fulfilled. In doing so, we can forestall systemic financial risks. Thank you. 

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