China’s Central Bank Steps Up Effort to Boost Lending

  • China’s central bank has started actively encouraging banks to extend more credit by taking a softer stance on loan quotas, people familiar with the matter said, as authorities ratchet up efforts to bolster a cooling economy.
  • The People’s Bank of China has delivered the message via so-called window guidance, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The central bank hasn’t provided specific targets, but it indicated a willingness to be more flexible on banks’ government-imposed lending caps, the people said.
  • While China has taken several steps to free up credit in recent weeks, the central bank’s latest interactions with lenders suggest official efforts have intensified. One executive at a large state-owned bank said the firm exceeded its year-to-date lending quota, judging that the PBOC would be less strict in enforcing the cap. A smaller bank focused on small-business lending had its quota raised by more than 50% in Aug 18 from Jul 18, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
  • In a statement late on 1 Aug following its semi-annual work conference, the central bank said it encourages financial firms to boost efforts to support the real economy and reduce financing costs.

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