Chinese village, town banks grow in 2016

Updated 2017-03-03 12:01:21 Xinhua

China witnessed robust growth of village and town banks in 2016, amid efforts to channel more financial resources to rural areas for development and narrowing the urban-rural income gap.

China had a total of 1,519 village and town banks at the end of 2016, up from 1,377 in 2015, with combined assets topping 1.24 trillion yuan (about 180 billion U.S. dollars), Ma Xiaoguang, a senior official with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), said Thursday.

"Village and town banks have played an important role in improving the rural financial system and supporting development," Ma said, citing figures that combined loans of about 3 trillion yuan have been issued to farmers and small businesses since such banks debuted in 2007.

Private capital is playing a big role in the establishment of those banks and improving their governance, Ma added.

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