China's first inter-regional consortium of small- and medium-sized banks formed on November 27. Initiated by Shenzhen Ping An Bank, the consortium consists of 22 small- and medium-sized banks, including four foreign ones.
Through combining member sources, the consortium aims to provide big customers with syndicated loans in order to create a presence in the large-scale credit market. By associating these banks together, it also wants to change the excessive competition that presently exists between banks.
Small- and medium-sized banks cannot serve big customers due to various limitations in capital and staff, as well as other reasons. Only big state-owned banks are capable of providing massive loans. As competition gets fiercer these large banks are exploring the retail business market and offering services to smaller customers, thus gradually shrinking the market niche for small- and medium-sized banks.
For more details, please read the full story in Chinese. (http://www.caijing.com.cn/home/todayspec/2007-11-28/39439.shtml)
(China.org.cn November 28, 2007)