China urges financial institutions to extend service in rural areas

2008-07-20 13:31:13 GMT       2008-07-20 21:31:13 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- China's banking regulators have urged financial institutions to speed up innovations and mechanism reform in rural areas to make credit more accessible to farmers.

The country had made progress at extending financial services in rural areas, including the establishment of new types of financial institutions and development of micro loans, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) Liu Mingkang said.

The country had 50 new-type rural financial institutions so far, including county- and village-level financial organs, credit companies and capital mutual aid organizations.

Credit from these new type of rural financial institutions mainly went to farm households and small-sized enterprises in rural areas.

Financial institutions, however, still needed to raise their coverage of outlets, increase credit supply and improve financial services to meet diversified demands in rural areas, Liu said.

A total of 2,868 counties or villages had no financial institutions and 2,645 of them were located in the country's west, according to CBRC statistics. Another 8,901 counties or villages had only one financial institution.

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