Profit growth at China’s banks is likely to slow substantially this year due to the economic downturn, according to Ma Weihua, president of China Merchants Bank (CMB), the South China Morning Post reported. "The direct loss from the crisis is limited. But domestic banks are feeling more and more impact as the crisis is slowing the real economy," said Ma, writing in Shanghai Securities News on Monday. He warned that the "super-growth scenario" of recent years will be hard to repeat, noting that bank business was cooling across the board, from loans to credit card use to wealth management. Mainland banks posted a combined 67% jump in profit in the first half of last year. However, the six Hong Kong-listed lenders may post an average decline in earnings of 12% this year due to lower interest rates and increased defaults, according to a Citi report.