New system in China to improve SME lending

SHANGHAI: China has established a unified national financing registration system that uses movable property and rights as pledges, which is expected to increase loans for small and medium-sized enterprises and improve the overall business environment.

The unified system has been expanded across the country since Jan 1, after pilot programmes were conducted in four cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangshou in Guangdong province, central bank officials said at a news conference.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank, was authorised by the State Council, China’s cabinet, to take full responsibility for the unified registration system.

It started providing support and inquiry services on Jan 1, and the nationwide system is running smoothly, said shang sihong, head of the PBoC’s Credit Reference Centre.

A statement from the PBoC said seven types of pledges of movable property and rights will be subject to the unified registration. These include production equipment, raw materials, semifinished products and finished products, accounts receivable, deposit slips, warehouse receipts and bills of lading, and financial lease pledges.

Based on the type of pledge of movable property and rights, the market entities can apply for registration within a single system.It will increase the transparency of real rights for pledges, add to the certainty of realising the rights of secured parties, reduce the risks and costs of credit transactions and support financial institutions and other secured parties to provide pledge financing, experts said.

The State Council decided on Dec 22 to unify the nation’s registration system for movable property and rights pledges from Jan 1,2021.

The Credit Reference Centre of the PBoC was designated to carry out the registration service accordingly.

Analysts said the decision was in line with requirements under the Civil Code and will help improve the business environment in the country.

“Providing loans for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises based on their credit information is a measure that the central bank promoted last year, which facilitated production resumption since the novel coronavirus outbreak, ” said Tian Di, deputy head of the PBoC’s Credit Information System Bureau.

By the end of 2020,131 corporate credit information institutions received approvals from the central bank to provide registration and inquiry services to market entities.

The PBoC said that seven key market-oriented institutions helped about 2.35 million small and micro companies receive 1.41 trillion yuan (US$216.2bil) of credit by the end of last year, with a nonperforming loan ratio of 1.16%, a relatively low level.

“The measures are effective in helping small businesses get financing and mitigate the shocks from the Covid-19 pandemic, ” said Tian.

China is establishing the world’s largest database of financial credit information and it will be a key component of the national social credit system, Chen Yulu, vice-governor of the central bank, said in December.

Analysts said they expect the next five years to be a golden period for developing the credit information services market in the Chinese mainland.

The government will allow market-based credit information services institutions to collect business and personal credit information, and it will not be restricted to bank lending data, said Chen. — China Daily/ANN

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