China on Saturday tightened risk management requirements on banks, requiring them to classify financial-asset risks in a timely and prudent manner, in a bid to better assess lenders’ credit risks, reports Reuters. From Jul. 1, banks must classify assets beyond the currently required loans—including bond investment, interbank lending and off-balance-sheet assets— into five categories ranging from “normal” to “loss,” according to rules published by the central bank and the banking and insurance regulator.
The rules will help “commercial banks evaluate credit risks more accurately and reflect the true quality of their financial assets,” said the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).
Current rules are inadequate because “in recent years, the asset structure of China’s commercial banks has changed quite a lot, and risk classification faces many new situations and problems,” the CBIRC said. The new rules, it said, will help prevent credit risks more effectively, the regulator said.