Chinese Central Bank Seeks to Strengthen Financial Services for New Urbanites

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China’s top banking authorities have issued a directive for lenders to improve their offerings of financial services for new Chinese urbanites, in a bid to improve their employment and entrepreneurship prospects.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) recently issued the “Notice Concerning Strengthening Financial Services for New Urbanites” (关于加强新市民金融服务工作的通知), for the purpose of “supporting and encouraging banking and insurance institutions to raise the accessibility and convenience of financial services for new urbanites.”

The Notice focuses in particular on key areas of financial demand for new urbanites, including entrepreneurship, employment, housing, education, healthcare and aged care, and calls for encouraging and guiding banks and insurers to “actively and effectively integrate with existing support policies, strengthen product and service innovation, and engage in the high-quality expansion of financial supply, to raise the evenness and degree of convenience of financial services.”

Key provisions of the Notice include:

  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to expand the supply of financial products and services, and expediting entrepreneurship and employment for new urbanites.
  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to optimise housing financial services, helping to increase the supply of welfare housing, and supporting the healthy growth of the residential leasing market.
  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to assist new urbanites in training and childrearing.
  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to strengthen cooperation with government authorities, and raise the level of insurance services.
  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to diversify pension financial services products.
  • Supporting and encouraging banks and insurers to optimise basic financial services, and raise the convenience and accessibility of basic financial services.
  • Requiring that CBIRC and PBOC’s ancillary offices strengthen coordination with government departments, to drive financial policy to effectively integrate with fiscal, employment, housing and social welfare policy, and combine policy effects.