In 2021, the total assets of banks in China amounted 336 trillion yuan, a 8.6 percent increase compared to the previous year. Assets of large commercial banks accounted for almost 40.5 percent of total banking assets which amounted to 136 trillion yuan. Joint-stock commercial banks held assets valued at 60.3 trillion yuan in 2020.
China’s banking sector
China’s multilayered banking industry was developed by large, state-owned banks. On top of the bank-hierarchy were the “Big Four” commercial banks. They included the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China. In addition to those, there are also thirteen joint-stock commercial banks which include the China Merchants Bank and Bank of Communications. Their asset value was significantly smaller than the value of the “Big Four”. On a local level, over a hundred commercial banks provide financial services throughout China.
Non-performing loan issues
Since China began opening up its banking sector, international analysts had questioned the quality of loans from Chinese banks. Many accused Chinese institutions of engaging in questionable lending practices which eroded the quality of the bank’s underlying assets. Furthermore, the possibility of an industry-wide prevalence of bad loans could expose the whole industry to systematic risks. However according to official numbers, the ratio of non-performing loans was comparable to healthy European economies. Nonetheless, state regulators were aware of these issues and introduced a debt-equity swap program in 2016 where government-financed asset management companies bought up bad loans from banks.
Total assets of banks in China from 2007 to 2021
(in trillion yuan)
* According to the source, data for 2007 to 2017 are based on consolidated assets of banks in and outside of China. Figures have been rounded. Note: 1 yuan equals approximately 0.15 U.S. dollars and 0.13 euros (as of September 2020).
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CBRC. (August 10, 2021). Total assets of banks in China from 2007 to 2021 (in trillion yuan) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved August 08, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/277938/total-assets-of-banks-in-china/
CBRC. "Total assets of banks in China from 2007 to 2021 (in trillion yuan)." Chart. August 10, 2021. Statista. Accessed August 08, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277938/total-assets-of-banks-in-china/
CBRC. (2021). Total assets of banks in China from 2007 to 2021 (in trillion yuan). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: August 08, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277938/total-assets-of-banks-in-china/
CBRC. "Total Assets of Banks in China from 2007 to 2021 (in Trillion Yuan)." Statista, Statista Inc., 10 Aug 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/277938/total-assets-of-banks-in-china/
CBRC, Total assets of banks in China from 2007 to 2021 (in trillion yuan) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/277938/total-assets-of-banks-in-china/ (last visited August 08, 2022)