SHANGHAI/BEIJING, April 22 The growth of Chinese
wealth management products (WMPs) and interbank liabilities
eased in the first quarter of the year, China's banking
regulator said late on Friday, amid a crackdown by Beijing on
risky behaviour in the financial markets.
The China Banking and Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said in a
statement the value of banks' wealth management products
totalled 29.1 trillion yuan ($4.23 trillion) at the end of
March, up 18.6 percent from the start of the year.
It said this growth rate was down close to 35 percentage
points from the rate in the same period last year.
China's banking and securities watchdogs have recently upped
their campaign against risky lending, with the top securities
regulator urging stock exchanges earlier this month to "brandish
their sword" and punish market misbehaviours "with no mercy".
The banking regulator has issued a slew of policy directives
aimed at lenders' shadow banking business and risk management.
The insurance regulator has also called on insurers to tighten
supervision of their operations and investments.
The CBRC said in the statement it would take a "proactive"
stance to prevent financial risks, including boosting credit
controls, appropriately controlling property financing as well
as improving regulation of online lenders.
Non-performing loans (NPLs) totalled 1.58 trillion yuan by
the end of March, up 67.3 billion yuan since the start of the
year, it said, adding the NPL rate was 1.74 percent, very
slightly down from the same period in 2016.
($1 = 6.8845 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI, Shu Zhang and Matt
Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)