BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- China's banking and insurance sector has taken a slew of measures to buoy the recovery of the country's economy amid COVID-19 disruptions, an official said on Tuesday.
By the end of 2020, outstanding RMB loans increased by 19.6 trillion yuan (about 3.03 trillion U.S. dollars) over the beginning of the year, and 6.6 trillion yuan of loans had been extended, said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, at a press conference.
Last year, new loans to the manufacturing sector stood at 2.2 trillion yuan, exceeding the total amount of the previous five years, while new loans to private enterprises totaled 5.7 trillion yuan, 1.5 trillion yuan more than in 2019, said Guo.
A total of 292.1 billion yuan was paid to cover health-insurance claims last year, jumping 24.2 percent year on year, and 1.57 trillion yuan of long-term health-insurance risk reserve was accumulated.
China's banking sector also contributed to boosting the high-quality development of the country's economy in the past year.
Science and technology loans issued by the China Development Bank rose 23 percent year on year to 149.4 billion yuan, supporting a series of major projects in the fields of integrated circuits and commercial aircraft, said Zhao Huan, chairman of the bank, at the same press conference.
This year, the sector will offer more targeted financial assistance to key areas, including technology innovation, advanced manufacturing, rural vitalization, green development and the growth of private, micro and small businesses, Guo said.