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Sub-anchor: Over ¥200 bln loans offered in past 6 years


12-19-2016 05:49 BJT

Amid the slowing economic growth in China, consumer lending has been gaining significance. A new report on the country's consumer credit market has recently been released by the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University. For more on this, let me bring in my colleague Jiang Shaoyi. 

Q1. Shaoyi, tell us more about the development of the consumer credit market in the country?

A1. First let me give some background here. Unlike traditional forms of credit, for example credit card services which are usually issued by banks, consumer credit mainly refers to the services between customers and consumer credit companies. Official data shows that during the past six years, more than 200 billion yuan in loans have been offered to more than 24 million people around the country. And as of September this year, there were a total of fifteen authorized consumer finance companies in China.

However, in the bigger picture, as of the end of last year, the scale of consumer credit still only accounted for about one-fifth of the loan scale of the nation‘s whole banking industry. And this is far below the around 60 percent average level in foreign mature markets.

But with the country's economy rebalancing away from state-directed investment growth to consumer-led growth, analysts say China's consumer credit market will likely to exceed a jaw-dropping 37 trillion yuan by 2019.

Many consumer credit companies say they are highly confident about the market potential here. And many of them are planning to further expand their business in China.

Q2. So how are Chinese consumers embracing new credit patterns? Who are the major customers of consumer finance products?

A2. Well, let me show you some findings from the report. According to the document, actually the major customers are people under 30 years of age. And more than 60 percent of them earn less than 5,000 yuan a month, or about seven hundred US dollars. That is to say young people with middle or low incomes. We can say that its high-risk borrowers like college graduates and young jobseekers, that are the major clients of consumer finance.

The report also said over half of the customers don't really have credit cards or have never even used a credit card before. So after they get the loans how do they spend the money? The report shows most of them use loans to buy durable consumer goods, for example, cellphones, motorbikes, as well as household electrical appliances and even agricultural machinery.

Although many of them are still concerned about the lending rates, over half of them are more concerned about the application requirements and difficulties of getting approved. So one of the top concerns for those credit companies, maybe should still be how to provide easier access for their customers.

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