China’s top financial authorities have recently repeatedly stressed the need for banks and other financial institutions to provide greater support to the needs of recent migrants from the countryside to major urban centres.
On 18 April the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued the “Notice on Effectively Providing Financial Services for Pandemic Prevention and Control and Economic and Social Development” (关于做好疫情防控和经济社会发展金融服务的通知), which amongst other things made special reference to “strengthening financial services for key consumption areas and new urban demographics.”
The policy called in particular for providing support for new permanent urban residents when it comes to entrepreneurship and employment, childhood education and childhood support, irrespective of whether such residents have obtained local household registration.
According to the policy there are currently around 300 million new permanent urban residents in China, encompassing both urban workers as well as recently employed vocational graduates.
The release of the Notice follows the issuance of the “Notice on Strengthening Financial Services Work for New Urban Residents (关于加强新市民金融服务工作的通知) in March by PBOC and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).
The Notice highlighted “urgent demand” amongst new urban residents when it comes to finance in the areas of entrepreneurship, employment, housing, education, health care and age care.”
The Notice also called for “supporting and encouraging banking and insurance institutions to raise the accessibility and convenience of financial services for new urban residents.”