Bank of China, the nation's second-biggest lender, has announced plans to invest US$1.3 billion to beef up services and internal controls. This investment would be made "in the near term," according to bank vice-president Zhu Min, the South China Morning Post reported. Bank of China's investment in internal controls and services was unveiled as the banking regulator reminded local lenders to be careful on loans. Bank of China and partner Temasek Holdings have begun making loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises at trial locations in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian. The trials should be completed in September. No details about the size of the project were provided.