Business / Economy

Banks to be get more leeway in mortgage pricing, risk valuation

By Wu Yiyao ( Updated: 2016-02-26 14:44

China's commercial banks will be given more freedom in pricing and risk valuation as they extend individual housing loans, said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, on Friday in Shanghai.

Zhou made the comment at a news conference on the sidelines of the two-day Group of 20 central bankers and finance ministers meeting.

Zhou said China's commercial banks' individual mortgage loans should expand rapidly as they still account for a small proportion of their overall lending. "In China, individual mortgage loans account for somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent of total banking loans, which is at relatively low level compared to that of some countries, where the ratio is between 40 percent and 50 percent," said Zhou. "(For) the banks, therefore, the individual mortgage loans remain quite safe and there is still a lot of room for them to expand."

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission announced reduction of minimum down payment for first-time homebuyers from 25 percent to 20 percent in February, just five months after the authorities dropped the rate from 30 percent to 25 percent last October.

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