* Banks' WMPs up 18.6 pct at end-March from start of year
* CBRC says "overall risk situation remains complex and
severe" Commercial bank NPLs total 1.58 trln yuan by end-March
* PBOC gov: confident in preventing and eliminating systemic
(Adds details, PBOC governor comments)
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 overall risk situation remains complex and severe," the
CBRC said, adding it would "vigorously manage financial chaos".
The CBRC added in the statement it would take a "proactive"
stance to prevent rising financial risks, including boosting
credit controls, appropriately controlling property financing as
well as improving regulation of online lenders.
The banking regulator has recently 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.
Commercial banks' 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.
Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of China's central bank, said
on Saturday China's corporate and financial sectors were broadly
resilient, with risks "well under control".
"The banking sector's capital and provisions remain
adequate, with non-performing loans staying low. China is fully
confident in preventing and eliminating systemic risks," he
($1 = 6.8845 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI, Shu Zhang and Matt
Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)