Eoin Treacy's view -
Understanding the structure of China’s shadow banking system is crucial for analysing China’s financial system. We provide a stylised map of shadow banking in China, which highlights the main forms of shadow banking and the resulting financial system interlinkages. Shadow banking in China takes a markedly different form compared to that in the United States. A key characteristic is that commercial banks are the dominant players in China’s shadow banking system. The system is effectively a “shadow of the banks”, while securitisation and market-based instruments still play only a limited role.
We show that the structure of shadow banking in China is evolving. Its size and dynamics have changed rapidly in recent years. The main area of growth has shifted from shadow credit provision to private firms with less privileged access to formal bank credit, towards offering alternative savings instruments (e.g. WMPs and trust products). Similarly, at the intermediate stage, new and more complex “structured” shadow credit intermediation has emerged and quickly has reached a large scale. This is driven by banks trying to alleviate regulatory burdens (e.g. NPL provisions or LTD ratio ceilings) through a reclassification of existing bank assets into investment receivables. Tight and growing financial sector linkages further raise the potential for the transmission of financial shocks among savers, banks and the bond market. In addition, new forms of internet-based credit intermediation, such as P2P lending, have been expanding at an extraordinary pace. As a result, shadow banking in China is growing more complex and thereby becoming slightly more similar to the US shadow banking.
We tend to hear a great deal about the problem of non-performing loans and the shadow banking sector in China. However, a point that often seems to be overlooked is that not every bank is equally affected.
This section continues in the Subscriber's Area. Back to top