(Yicai Global) March 5 -- Hundreds of Chinese banks are getting together to start online loan reviews, with plans to help about 10 million small- and medium-sized enterprises, self-employed individuals and farmers get back to work.
Through the cooperation those seeking loans of less than CNY1 million (USD144,000) or even just CNY30,000 (USD4,325) to CNY50,000 can apply by mobile phone, getting around the need to visit a lender in person.
Online lending has mainly been the preserve of fintech platforms so far. But its more widespread use offers a way to avoid personal contact and speed up loan approvals to help in the return to work. More than half of China's SMEs are still shut down, according to figures the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released yesterday, as a result of the coronavirus epidemic that has gripped the country.
Micro and small businesses account for 80 percent of employment, according to Zeng Gang, deputy director of the National Institution for Finance and Development.
China's three main policy banks, the largest state-owned commercial lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Construction Bank and joint-stock banks, as well as village and town banks are all involved in the new effort.
Big and mid-sized banks have strong finances and professional risk control technology, but don't have great access to a large number of micro and small businesses and small shops, while online lenders such as Mybank, with its data-processing capabilities, can quickly lend to such firms without any physical contact, the China Banking Association said.
Editors: Zhang Yushuo, Peter Thomas