Banks make progress in solving SMEs’ problems


Banks in Shanghai are making great progress in solving the financing difficulties of small and micro enterprises, according to Ma Qiang, executive vice chairman of the Shanghai Banking Association.

Since the city’s banking industry launched its biggest-scale financing matchmaking campaign in December last year, Ma said, they had attached great importance to and actively participated in matchmaking with around 640,000 small and micro enterprises in the city.

Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s banks had offered special support for the hardest-hit industries, including manufacturing, accommodation and catering.

By the end of October, of the 26,000 enterprises in need, the Shanghai banking industry had granted credit to 21,000 of them, with total credit reaching 123.508 billion yuan (US$18.87 billion) and a loan balance of 65.566 billion yuan.

Compared with the launch time of the program last December, the loan amount had increased by 62.295 billion yuan and the loan balance by 50.075 billion yuan, according to the association.

Li Hu, an inspector of the Shanghai Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau, said the experience of the campaign was worth reviewing and promoting, as it strengthened coordination among departments, expanded coverage of services, got a clear sense of enterprises’ intentions to raise funds, and optimized long-term mechanisms.

By the end of October, loans to SMEs in Shanghai totaled around 500 billion yuan, an increase of more than 140 billion yuan from the beginning of the year, or 40 percent, which was 34 percentage points faster than overall loan growth.

Meanwhile, the number of lenders was nearly 350,000, up over 120,000 from the beginning of the year, or 56 percent, with an average loan interest rate at 5.17 percent, the lowest in China.

The non-performing loan ratio in Shanghai by the end of October was 0.78 percent, making the city one of the best performing regions in China in this respect, Li said.