A rural credit cooperative was publicly named and fined by the banking regulator for covering up loan risks, shedding light on problems with the quality of data on lending in the country. The Gaizhou Rural Credit Cooperative, a deposit-taking institution in Liaoning province, was fined RMB 200,000 for “incorrectly rating and classifying its loans,” according to a notice published on the China Banking Regulatory Commission website on Wednesday. Sun Qiao, a clerk from the cooperative, was fined RMB 50,000. China has hundreds of cooperatives across the country, acting as regional banks. Details about these credit cooperatives are scarce, because they do not disclose information about their asset quality or operations. According to the South China Morning Post, the official non-performing loan ratio in the mainland’s banking system has remained below 2% since 2009. These official figures have been questioned, but there is no concrete evidence to challenge them with.
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