Banking Insider Highlights Differences Between China and the US


A veteran American banker has published a new book that provides an exclusive insiders account of key differences in the financial systems of the US and China.

71-year old James Stent is uniquely positioned to understand the banking systems of both countries, as a US citizen who is one of few foreign nationals to occupy a high-level position with a Chinese lender.

San Francisco-born Stent pursued Chinese-language studies during the late 1960’s, before serving with the Bangkok-based Bank of Asia for nearly two decades and eventually rising to the position of senior executive vice-president.

Stent also has rare first-hand experience of China’s banking system, after being appointed as independent director of China’s biggest private bank – China Minsheng, as well as China Everbright Bank.

This make his new book “China’s Banking Transformation: the Untold Story,” a unique insider’s account of the Middle Kingdom’s lending sector.

Key Differences Between the Sino-US Systems

According to Stent once of his chief motives for writing the book was to clear up the misconceptions that abound in the West about China’ s banking system, by elucidating its differences.

Stent points out that a pivotal difference is China’s practice of market socialism, as compared to market capitalism in the US.

While listed-banks in the West seek to improve shareholder value, in China it’s far more imperative for them to pursue the policy goals outlined by the government.

This means that a primary function of Chinese banks is to channel funds to those areas and sectors designated by the government, with a view to advancing national policies.

They are are far less concerned with shareholder value, except as an incidental marker of performance.