China’s Big State-owned Banks All Launch Urban Migrant Finance Strategies

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China’s big state-owned banks have all launched plans to better cater to the financial needs of new urban migrants, in response to moral suasion from central government regulators.

In March 2022 the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) jointly issued the “Notice on Strengthening New Urban Resident Financial Services Work” (关于加强新市民金融服务工作的通知).

The Notice called for increasing the convenience and accessibility of basic financial services provided by banks and insurers to new urban migrants.

In the several months since the release of the Notice all of six of the big state-owned banks have released new financial services plans for urban migrants, including:

  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China: The “1+3+X” specialist financial services plan, as well as a new urban migrant services area in ICBC’s mobile app.
  • China Construction Bank: The “China Construction Bank Financial Action Plan for Servicing New Urban Migrants” (中国建设银行服务新市民金融行动方案).
  • Bank of China: The release of 10 financial inclusion measures to support new urban migrants, and the launch of a new “financial direct connect vehicle” (融资直通车).
  • Agricultural Bank of China: The “521” new urban migrant comprehensive financial services plan.
  • Bank of Communications: The “Action Plan for Strengthening New Urban Migrant Financial Services Work” (加强新市民金融服务工作行动方案).
  • Postal Savings Bank of China: The “New Urban Migrant Comprehensive Financial Services Plan” (新市民综合金融服务方案), and the release of a specialist “U+” debit card for new urban migrants.