The banking sector in this biggest industrial and business center in China, has provided a record 100.9 billion yuan (about US$12.3 b) in outstanding consumption loans for local residents.
The figure makes Shanghai the largest provider of private consumption loans among all the cities on the Chinese mainland.
A spokesman for the Shanghai branch of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, said the amount of outstanding loans exceeded 100 billion yuan for the first time by the banking sector.
Of the 100.9 billion yuan loaned out by the end of last year, US$ 4.7 b was lent last year by financial institutions in the city.
During the same period, commercial banks in the city had provided local consumers with 74.3 billion yuan in outstanding consumption loans, of which US$ 3.9 b was issued last year.
Outstanding housing mortgage loans in Shanghai totaled US$ 7.8 b by the end of last year, of which US$3.7 b was added last year, involving the purchase of housing units totaling 15.83 million square meters in floor space.
Meanwhile, more people in Shanghai are taking out loans to buy cars. Last year, loans worth US$ 152 million were offered to individuals as car-purchase loans.
The spokesman said the bad loan rate for consumption loans extended by commercial banks remains below one percent, mostly under 0.5 percent, or within the low-risk range.
It is learned that Shanghai is constructing the first personal credit system on the Chinese mainland.
(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2002)