China's banking and insurance regulator chief vowed to step up credit support for the private sector, with a goal of no less than 50 percent of new corporate loans going to private businesses in the next three years.
The private sector contributes more than 60 percent of the economy but only receives 25 percent of the loans, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), told Xinhua in an interview, stressing the two ratios do not "match" and efforts should be taken to change the situation.
Big banks should make at least a third of their loans to private businesses in the next three years and for small and medium-sized banks, the level is two thirds, Guo said.
"It's critical to push lenders to grant private companies more loans."
The CBIRC chief requires lenders to allocate more resources to the private sector, formulate special credit policies and revise evaluation systems for employees. Other measures to be taken by banks will include shortening financing chains and reducing financing costs for private borrowers.
"Both state-owned and private enterprises should be treated equally and fairly... and there should never be any discrimination in regards of their ownership," Guo said.
Guo's remarks came in the latest effort of the government to help the private sector, and the country's financial authorities have already taken a series of measures including more bank loans and easier bond issuance to address financing difficulties of private enterprises and expand their fund-raising channels.
The measures have taken effect, with more funds channeled to money-starved private businesses at lower costs.
By the end of the first three quarters of the year, the average lending interest rate of 18 major commercial banks for small and micro firms stood at 6.23 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than that in the first quarter.
Guo said the CBIRC has also mulled measures to help address liquidity risks in private businesses, including unleashing more funds raised through banks' wealth management products and extending credit for companies that face forced liquidation due to falling share prices.
Insurance funds will also be given a bigger role in long-term and stable investment, Guo said.