China's major banking institutions slashed the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) by 5.32 percentage points to 17.8 percent last year, according to a press conference Thursday.
In 2003, total NPL volume of major Chinese financial institutions was cut off by 190.6 billion yuan (approximately US$23.1billion) to 2.44 trillion yuan (US$295 billion) at the year's end, according to background materials provided by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) at the press conference on the sideline of the ongoing sessions of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
The figures demonstrate China's enhanced ability to weather financial risks and supervise its banking organs, the CBRC said.
The CBRC punished 1,242 banking institutions at different levels and penalized 3,251 bank staffs who violated financial regulations in the past year. The financial "watchdog" also strengthened its off-site surveillance function, and monitored economic and financial development so as to promptly identify and signal potential risks, according to the materials.
(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2004)