(Chinadaily)--China's top banking regulator vowed to speed up the commercialiation of its numerous rural credit cooperatives to improve financial services in the country's vast rural area, Reuter reported Tuesday.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said it would urge rural cooperatives to finish reforming their ownership structure over the next five years and would encourage qualified cooperatives to turn into village banks. It did not provide further details.
"Our country is not lacking in big banks. What we need is smaller- to medium-sized banks that can provide professional and tailor-made services for peasants," the regulator said in a statement on its website.
It promised to coordinate with other government agencies to work out favorable tax and fiscal policies to quicken reforms.
In addition, it said local governments would be asked to buy some non-performing assets incurred by such cooperatives over the past years, despite the fact that many local governments are heavily in debt.
The regulator also ordered rural cooperatives to open more outlets in less developed counties and lend more to agricultural businesses.
Chinese rural cooperatives account for 78 percent of total rural household loans and a third of agricultural-related lending, the regulator said.