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China economy

China imposes new curbs on online lending amid concerns over high interest rates

Central banker reported to have told seminar increased oversight has already seen some success

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 2:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 2:48pm

China is stepping up its oversight of cash loans offered through the internet amid growing concerns over rapid growth in the lightly regulated industry, a business media report said on Saturday.

Caixin, in a report on its website, quoted Ji Zhihong, a member of the central bank’s financial markets department, as saying it has developed with other authorities a special regulation for controlling online financial risk.

According to Caixin, Ji told a seminar the regulation has already achieved some success.

Caixin also quoted Ji as saying China will improve regulations for all online finance businesses, and all financing activity should be subject to a basic level of oversight.

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China’s fast-growing online microcredit firms have been accused of taking advantage of regulatory loopholes to charge excessively high interest rates.

Securities Times, a state-backed publication, earlier this month said new rules could emerge within six months to tighten controls on online microcredit firms.

This year, the People’s Bank of China has added wealth management products to its regulatory oversight as it sought to contain risks to the financial system.