The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) announced on Thursday that by the end of July it had granted student loans totaling 1.405 billion yuan (about US$169.89 million), accounting for 80 percent of all such loans in the country.
An ICBC spokesman said so far the bank had provided loans for more than 200,000 students in 461 universities and colleges.
This year the bank's loans to students had increased by 245 million yuan (about US$29.63 million), up 30 percent from last year, he said. The debt for such ICBC loans had reached 1.186 billion yuan (about US$143.41 million).
The ICBC had decided to make student loans a priority business, and loans would be ensured for all students who qualify under the state's relevant regulations, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2002)