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China needs screening plan for P2P platforms: Bank official

By Wang Yanfei | | Updated: 2018-09-03 22:20

China should establish a screening plan for investors planning to invest in peer-to-peer platforms at a time when massive growth of the industry hides regulatory risks, according to a senior researcher with the central bank's research bureau.

"Unlike banks, the very essence for P2P is information intermediary. Peer-to-peer platforms can earn investors a higher rate of return than savings, but lenders face higher risks. Creating a plan to screen qualified investors is the key," said Ji Min, deputy head of the People's Bank of China research bureau during the Global Fintech Summit on Sunday.

Without a threshold for investors, some P2P lenders have been lured by promises of double-digit returns and yet got nothing back after the platforms collapsed.

The industry can attract more institutional investors to help stabilize the businesses of the platforms, for instance, allowing banks to buy P2P assets, according to Ji.

To better fend off risks, individuals are able to purchase P2P assets held by institutional investors, or make an investment after being classified as qualified investors, he added.

After the industry witnessed massive unregulated growth in recent years, the central bank has imposed tightened rules for these platforms, cracking down on bad lenders and urging relevant departments to help improve "investors' rationality on investing in loans and risk".

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