SCIO briefing on operations and performance of the banking and insurance sectors in the first quarter of 2020

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on April 22 in Beijing to brief the media about the operations and performance of the banking and insurance sectors in the first quarter of 2020. April 23, 2020


A series of financial support policies for the resumption of production have been issued by CBIRC and other related departments since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, some enterprises said they have not yet felt or seen the effects of these policies. How about the implementation of these policies? What are the concrete plans to accelerate the implementation of the policies in the near future? Thank you. 

Huang Hong:

Thank you for your questions. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the CBIRC has earnestly implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and it has also made overall plans for the prevention and control of the pandemic and the financial services related to economic and social development. A series of measures to support the resumption of work and production has been issued by CBIRC or other related ministries, which can be summarized as follows: 

First, we will optimize financial services in the field of pandemic prevention and control. Financial institutions are required to actively meet reasonable financing needs of health and pandemic prevention, pharmaceutical product manufacturing and procurement, public health infrastructure construction, and scientific research. We encourage financial institutions to help enterprises overcome the impact of the pandemic by appropriately lowering loan interest rates, improving policies on loan renewal, and increasing credit loans, along with medium- and long-term loans. According to statistics from the China Banking Association, bank institutions alone have provided more than 2.5 trillion yuan in credit to help fight the pandemic.

Second, a provisional deferment policy for both principal repayment and interest payment has been implemented for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In accordance with market principles and law, loan principal repayments that have matured since January 25, as well as interest payments, have been deferred provisionally for virus-stricken micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with penalty payments exempted; their loan risk classification and credit records will not be affected. As of the end of March, banking institutions had deferred principle and interest payments on nearly 880 billion yuan (US$125.7 billion) of loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Third, all links in the industrial chains have been pushed to resume work and production in a coordinated way. Banks have been encouraged to follow up and meet upstream and downstream enterprises' needs for work and production resumption and support them to raise funds through approaches including receivables, warehouse receipts and inventory pledges. The core businesses, after getting financing, have been encouraged to promote cash transactions between upstream and downstream companies as a way to reduce capital pressure and financial costs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Fourth, we have continuously improved quality and efficiency of inclusive financial services for small and micro enterprises. In the light of the overall goal of "increasing quantity, expanding coverage, improving quality and reducing costs," we have strengthened supervision of classified assessment, and urged banking institutions to stabilize credit supply and enhance the financial support to small and micro enterprises. By the end of March, the inclusive small and minor businesses loans stood at 12.55 trillion yuan (US$1.79 trillion), with a 25.93% jump year-on-year, which is much higher than the increases for other types of loans. 

Generally speaking, these policies have been implemented quite smoothly, and produced initial effects. However, we still found some problems in the following four aspects. First, some enterprises are not eligible to apply for loans; second, some cannot enjoy the policy support due to factors such as a third party's guaranteed renewal; third, there are some firms that did not apply because they were not aware of the specifics of these policies; fourth, some banking and insurance institutions have been negligent and failed to offer desirable services — responsibility for this final factor lies squarely on our shoulder. As a result of the above-mentioned problems, some enterprises felt they didn't enjoy the policy support, as you just mentioned.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has attached great importance to these problems and taken actions to address them. Today, let me take this opportunity to invite our media friends to help by publicizing the financial supportive policies to more enterprises. Next, we will continue efforts to implement our policies and take such measures as window guidance, policy guidance, monitoring and statistical analysis, and summary and assessment to guide banking and insurance institutions to ensure flexible and efficient use of these policies. Efforts will also be exerted to promote coordination between banks and enterprises. By so doing, we will ensure that the policies are well-implemented and highly-effective, increasing enterprises' sense of gain. Thank you.

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