China outlines key targets of 2018 financial work

Updated 2018-03-30 21:11:02 Xinhua

China's newly merged banking and insurance regulator has outlined major tasks for financial work in 2018, making preventing and dissolving risks a top priority as the country's new economic team promised better coordination in this area.

In a conference chaired by head of the new body, Guo Shuqing, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission pledged to steadily bring down corporate leverage, dismantle shadow banking and crack down on illegal financial activities to forestall risks.

It will also work to rein in possible bubbles in the property market and play its role in helping local governments clean up implicit debt.

To support the building of modernized economic system, the regulator will work with local governments and businesses to promote structural adjustments and facilitate business mergers and restructuring, according to a statement released after the meeting.

More support will be given to national strategies such as rural revitalization and regional coordination, while financing services for small and micro firms should be further improved.

The meeting also announced more reform and opening up in the banking and insurance sectors to bring out market vitality.

This was the first meeting of the leading group for banking and insurance reforms after China approved the merger of the new body as part of a massive institutional restructuring scheme.

The move is aimed at solving existing problems such as unclear responsibilities, cross-regulation and absence of supervision.

Considering the complexities and size of China's financial market, policymakers last year decided to create a new committee for financial stability and development to enhance inter-agency coordination.

In a recent research tour to financial regulators, Vice Premier Liu He stressed the importance of the role of the new committee, calling for new types of regulatory framework to maintain the stability of the financial system.

Prevention of financial risks is key for China in what policymakers called the "three tough battles," namely controlling risks, reducing poverty and tackling pollution.

Throughout 2017, authorities have taken real steps to curb widespread malfeasance in the rapidly expanding financial market.

Banks, insurance and securities companies have received heavy fines for flouting market rules, and Internet finance companies once prospering on easy and fat profits are having a difficult time to survive with the enhanced rules.

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