China’s central bank has drafted new rules to tackle risks from shadow banking, in a tacit acknowledgment that a host of measures in recent years to control off balance sheet credit have failed to control its risks, the Financial Times reports. New credit hit a record high in January, mostly due to lending by non-bank institutions. UBS estimates that China’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product hit 277% at the end of 2016, up 133 percentage points since the global financial crisis. Non-bank lending has grown the fastest. Banks have worked with other financial institutions to shift loans off balance sheet, allowing them to evade credit quotas and capital adequacy requirements. The PBoC has circulated a draft policy framework that forbids off balance sheet WMPs from investing in illiquid loans known as “non-standard” credit assets. “Standard” assets refers to stocks, bonds and money market assets.
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