Caixin
Dec 11, 2020 03:30 AM
FINANCE

Financial Regulators Sound Alarm Over 15 Small Anhui Banks

What’s new: Financial regulators in eastern China’s Anhui province said 15 small and medium-sized banks there face high risks from bad loans following an anti-graft crackdown sweeping through local rural banks.

The 15 institutions with high risks held a combined 27 billion yuan ($4.13 billion) of nonperforming loans as of the end of 2019, the Anhui branch of the Ministry of Finance said in an article published Wednesday. Those banks’ nonperforming assets amount to 77.9% of the total of nonperforming loans in Anhui's banking system. The banks face a total capital shortfall of 23.2 billion yuan, the Finance Ministry unit said.

The background: Most of the risky banks flagged by the regulator are rural institutions that account for a major part of Anhui’s banking system, Caixin learned. The province’s 83 rural lenders were rattled by a corruption crackdown this year that has brought down 11 senior officials and executives in the local rural credit system.

The crackdown was followed by a nationwide plan to overhaul China’s vast rural credit system. The central bank in a November report said an assessment of more than 4,000 financial institutions during the fourth quarter 2019 identified 545 highly risky institutions, mostly rural lenders.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Related: Exclusive: China Takes Another Step Toward Fixing Its Corruption-Plagued Rural Credit Unions

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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