China's five largest commercial banks have posted small earnings growth in 2016 due to pressures on their net interest margins.
The banks are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Bank of Communications (BOC).
Their profit growth ranges from 0.5 percent for the ICBC to 2.58 percent for the BOC. Their combined profit reached at least 900 billion yuan (132 billion U.S. dollars), according to the annual reports of those banks.
Compressed interest margins have led to lower interest income, a major source of profit for the big-five banks. Meanwhile, their commission charge revenues rose.
Insiders have predicted banks would face less pressure on their interest incomes as corporate credit demand was recovering.