City's banks strive for financial inclusion and making lives better

Huang Yixuan
Banks are constantly improving support for businesses and individuals, as well as playing a key role in pandemic prevention and control.
Huang Yixuan

Banks in Shanghai are seeking ways to develop inclusive finance to better empower social governance and improve people's lives.

This year, banks have constantly enhanced financial support for relevant industries and individuals, on top of backing pandemic prevention and control work.

By the end of May, the balance of assets in Shanghai's banking sector was 19.84 trillion yuan (US$3.07 trillion), up 620 billion yuan from the beginning of the year, while the balance of loans was 8.92 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.41 percent year on year, according to the Shanghai Banking Association.

A total of 596 billion yuan in epidemic prevention and control loans had been disbursed to support 36,200 enterprises by May, and 238 million yuan in principal and interest reductions had been granted to businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.

Li Hu, an official of the Shanghai Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau, outlined its efforts to boost the high-quality development of the real economy.

The bureau has focused especially on reforms and innovations in key fields such as integrated circuits, new-energy vehicles, high-end biomedicine and artificial intelligence, to better serve "Shanghai manufacturing."

It supported the city's construction of a sci-tech innovation center, carrying out special studies on equity financing for sci-tech enterprises. 

The bureau is also continually optimizing the financial environment and improving the Shanghai model of promoting financial inclusion, Li said.

Through strengthening supervision, monitoring and evaluation, the bureau has promoted the sustained growth of micro-credit supply and significantly improved the level of micro-financial professional services. 

It also fostered the application of digital and big data financial inclusion. By the end of March, 56 banking institutions in Shanghai had participated in cooperation between businesses and banking and tax authorities, lending a total 108.4 billion yuan.

Aside from the authorities and industry bodies, major banks are also seeking innovative ways of their own to boost financial inclusion and improve people's lives.

The Shanghai branch of the Bank of Communications is actively taking part in the city's digital transformation, launching services such as convenient medical treatment, electronic identification and electronic seals, and registration of real estate mortgages without face-to-face contact. 

It was the first cooperative bank supporting electronic business licenses and electronic seals in China, and the only designated bank in Shanghai to give out subsidies for NEV charging infrastructure.

The Bank of Shanghai, meanwhile, focused on the elderly, serving nearly 1.6 million aged customers, and distributing 23.81 million pensions in 2020. It actively provides comprehensive financial support such as credit and financial advisory services for the upper and lower segments of the aged care industry. 

And the Shanghai branch of the Bank of China launched a voluntary mutual assistance platform for the elderly and set up an online university for financial institutions serving the aged, the first of its kind.

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