China has seen robust growth in loans to small businesses, amidst a push for greater financial inclusion from regulators that has intensified since the start of the Covid pandemic.
As of the end of October, China’s micro-and-small enterprise financial inclusion loan balance had grown 20.5% compared to the same period last year to reach 11.32 trillion yuan, according to figures from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).
According to CBIRC’s procurator Wang Chaodi (王朝弟), the average interest rate for these loans has fallen 0.42 percentage points compared to full year 2021.
“We will continue to drive growth in the volume, expansion in the coverage and reductions in the costs of financial services for micro-and-small enterprises,” a CBIRC official said.
“In 2020 we endeavoured to achieve a 2 trillion yuan increase in micro-and-small enterprise financial inclusion loan balance, for growth faster than than the average growth rate for all loans. At the big five banks, the growth rate [for financial inclusion loans] was in excess 20%.
“Next year we will strive to increase loan recipients by 3 million, and strive to reduce comprehensive financing costs for micro-and-small enterprises seeking funds from banks by a further 0.5 percentage points.”