China urges banks to facilitate real estate delivery

China urges banks to facilitate real estate delivery

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

China’s top banking and insurance regulator has urged banks to issue loans to real estate projects to address a growing frustration from homebuyers dealing with stalled property construction.

In an interview with China Banking and Insurance News published on Sunday, an official with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said that they have closely noted requests by homebuyers to stop mortgage payments due to delayed deliveries since late June.

CBIRC has stepped up coordination with other regulators to support local governments to guarantee the delivery of homes more effectively, the official said.

Specifically, the official stressed that banks have to shoulder social responsibilities and push forward the delivery of apartments “by all means” necessary. The official added that banks should actively participate in forming plans to fill the funding gap and provide credit to qualified financing needs for developers to facilitate the rapid resumption and early delivery of the real estate projects.

The official also urged banks to strengthen communication with mortgage clients and guarantee their legitimate rights and interests.

Recently, several groups of homebuyers in China have threatened to stop mortgage payments over delayed delivery of their apartments and property, gaining widespread public attention. 

More than 10 banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial Bank of China and the Postal Savings Bank said that their mortgage default risks were “controllable” in statements on July 14.

Subsequently, the CBIRC pledged to guide financial institutions to “market-oriented” disposal of risks. 

Separately, the banking regulator said China will boost small and medium-sized banks’ abilities to defend against risks. Since the beginning of this year, CBIRC has actively worked with the Ministry of Finance and the People’s Bank of China to accelerate the issuance of special bonds by local governments to supplement the capital of these banks. 

A special debt quota of 103 billion yuan ($15.26 billion) were allocated to the areas of Liaoning, Gansu, Henan and Dalian in the first half of 2022 and more issuance plans will be approved in the near future, according to the CBIRC. The allocation of the entire 320 billion yuan quota is expected to be completed by the end of August, it added.

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