China’s chief bank regulator is galvanizing banks to increase lending to small businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a post made Tuesday on the regulator’s website. The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said that bank lending to small business must meet or exceed growth in their overall lending average. Banks are particularly encouraged to lend to borrowers of less than RMB5 million (US$730,994), and to increase tolerance for non-performing loans to small firms. To finance these endeavors the CBRC will allow banks to issue special bonds. The regulator stated Monday that it will fast-track approval of debt-financing for banks that lend more to small businesses, and banks can use a lower risk rating for loans of less than RMB5 million when determining capital adequacy ratios. State media estimated in August that 90% of small businesses – often denied loans by banks that favor larger state-owned enterprise – turn to the underground lending market for financing.