Business / Gadgets

Online finance needs more checks

By He Yini ( Updated: 2014-03-31 10:46

The industry also embraces such services as P2P online lending, crowding funding, online wealth management products, and virtual currencies, she added.

"It seems thrilling to join the tide of the booming Internet finance, but it is also really dangerous if not played well," said Song Fuliang, an adviser to the central bank. "Any company with any financial service should abide by certain rules once they get into the financial field. They have to be able to recognize, assess, manage and control risks."

Online finance needs more checks
"Risk control is undoubtedly the first and foremost thing we need to be aware of, not just because we have to secure our credit and our job, but mostly because we are obligated to do so," said Liu Guangdong, chief executive officer of Guanqun Chicheng Investment Management Ltd, a well-known P2P online lending platform in China.

The platform, by absorbing idle money from individuals, has been providing services to thousands of small and micro enterprises that are gasping for cash.

Online transactions via such platforms totaled 105.8 billion yuan last year, nearly quintupling those in 2012.

But just as light starts to shine in, problems loom large. In the second half of 2013, over 70 P2P online lending platforms were forced to close or simply disappeared, weighing largely on the related families and the nascent industry.

"There are various reasons behind the phenomenon, but I think 60 percent are ethical problems," Liu said. "Threshold of the industry should be higher, laws and regulations be tighter and punishment tougher."

The amount of money P2P lending platforms help manage may not be big enough, but could possibly be all savings lenders have and become the lifeblood of borrowers, he added. "That's why we should take really good care of that."

Internet finance may rock the traditional banking system in many ways, but at the end of the day, it actually completes the system because such financial innovations, if better regulated, will help breathe new life into the financial market, Xu of the PBOC said. "We should embrace it with an open heart."

Online finance needs more checks Online finance needs more checks
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