Officials: China should draw lesson from US subprime crisis
Updated: 2008-04-13 09:21

China should draw a lesson from the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States and strengthen risk control and supervision in its financial reforms, officials said.

Liu Mingkang, head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said China's financial reforms aimed to open the market wider and the crisis would not change the "fundamental direction".

"The crisis reminded us that China's financial industry must open step by step to the outside world. Otherwise, we will be incapable of coping with the accompanying risks and problems," he said. "Supervision and monitoring is very important."

Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, said supervision should be stricter in the future and the government should have problematic financial institutions go out of business to make the market more efficient.

"Financial institutions, especially those in emerging Asian economies, should diversify their investments to spread risks," he said.

"Corporate governance plays a very important role in risk control," he said. "Board members with different expertise and experience will give advice on risk management from different angles."

Lord Leon Brittan, vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, recognized that it was wise and correct of China to promote financial liberalization in a gradual and orderly manner.

He said China's financial industry should not open further wider until it was well prepared in corporate governance and in dealing with bad debts and assets.

Agreeing that the government was obligated to supervise financial institutions, he said too much interference would lead to higher costs.

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