Financial system stable, but risks remain: Wen
Updated: 2012-01-07 20:28
BEIJING - China's financial system is running on a stable course despite the global financial crisis. However, apparent problems and potential risks still linger, as the crisis has not ended, Premier Wen Jiabao said.
Wen made the remarks at the two-day National Financial Work Conference that concluded Saturday. The meeting, held every five years, mapped out development plans for the financial sector in the upcoming five years. Similar meetings were held in 1997, 2002 and 2007.
"China's economy has maintained stable and relatively fast growth with stabilized consumer prices and improvements in people's lives. The financial system is running steadily. The good momentum of economic and social development remains unchanged," Wen said.
"We have the confidence, capabilities and conditions to move economic development to a new stage," he said.
China has resolutely pushed forward a series of financial reforms which have set significant historical milestones. Large commercial banks have remarkably improved their capabilities of guarding against risks, Wen said.
"We should especially note that the global financial crisis has not ended. We should strengthen our awareness of risks and responsibilities in order to push financial work to new levels," he said.
In the future, China will stick to the principal of having the financial industry serve the real economy to prevent virtual bubbles from inflating the economy, he noted.
Wen voiced his support for the development of financial innovation, but stressed that this should not escape supervision. "Risk-aversion should be the lifeline of our financial work," he said.
He pledged to allow market forces a greater say in deciding fund allocation and to more clearly define the government's role.
Financial oversight will be tightened and improved, and banks should establish a more complete and prudent supervision system, he said.
According to a statement released after the meeting, China's assets in the financial industry totaled 119 trillion yuan ($18.8 trillion) at the end of November 2011, a 149-percent increase from that at the end of 2006.
As of the end of September 2011, the banking capital adequacy ratio stood at 12.3 percent, 5 percentage points higher than that at the end of 2006, while the non-performing loan ratio was 0.9 percent, 6.2 percentage points lower than that at the end of 2006.