HONG KONG Oct 4 China's outstanding
peer-to-peer loans more than doubled to a record high at the end
of September, according to an industry report, underscoring the
challenges authorities face in reining in the unruly and
P2P loans surged 153.5 percent to 956 billion yuan ($143
billion), the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a report
by P2P industry portal P2P001.
The data comes more than a month after China's banking
regulator unveiled aggressive measures to restrain the P2P
sector, warning that almost half of the 4,000-odd online lending
platforms were "problematic".
China's P2P and online finance industry has boomed in recent
years, prompting the government to take steps to clean up the
industry after a series of scandals and multi-billion dollar
The average interest rate for P2P lending stood at 8.7
percent, unchanged from a month earlier and still near a record
low, Xinhua said on Tuesday.
China's government for years maintained a hands-off approach
to promote alternative sources of funding for consumers and
small businesses, which often struggle to get credit from banks
and other mainstream financial institutions.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said in
August that some troubled P2P companies, suffering from capital
constraints and poor management, had seen executives run away
with investor money.
($1 = 6.6685 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Kim Coghill)