Lending in the Dark

The proliferation of China’s opaque, loosely regulated (or unregulated) shadow-banking system has been raising fears of possible financial instability. But just how extensive – and how risky – is shadow banking in China?

HONG KONG – The proliferation of China’s opaque, loosely regulated (or unregulated) shadow-banking system has been raising fears of possible financial instability. But just how extensive – and how risky – is shadow banking in China?

According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, shadow banking (all credit not regulated by the same standards as conventional bank loans) increased from ¥800 billion ($130 billion) in 2008 to ¥7.6 trillion in 2012 (roughly 14.6% of GDP). Total off-balance-sheet banking activity in China – composed of credits to property developers (30-40%), local-government entities (20-30%), and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), individuals, and bridge-loan borrowers – was estimated to be as high as ¥17 trillion in 2012, roughly one-third of GDP.

The term “shadow banking” gained prominence during the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States to account for non-bank assets in the capital market, such as money-market funds, asset-backed securities, and leveraged derivative products, usually funded by investment banks and large institutional investors. In 2007, the volume of shadow-banking transactions in the US exceeded that of conventional banking assets.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/yvdHmHQ;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.