BEIJING, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer finance firms reported a steady expansion in their client base as small-sum and convenient loans continued to gain popularity, according to an industry report.
By the end of June, China had 26 consumer finance firms serving some 140 million clients, up from 24 companies serving 100 million in September last year, according to a report released by the China Banking Association (CBA).
In the reporting period, the total assets of China's consumer finance firms stood at about 486.2 billion yuan (about 70.35 billion U.S. dollars), with outstanding loans reaching 468.6 billion yuan, said the report.
Consumer finance companies refer to non-banking financial institutions approved by the regulator to offer consumer loans to individuals. They are not allowed to absorb public deposits.
The report said it expects demand for consumer finance to increase rapidly after the epidemic tapers off, as pent-up consumption demand gradually recovers, while young consumers, the major client group of consumer finance services, are hit particularly hard by the virus in terms of employment and income.
Meanwhile, Chinese consumer finance companies are strengthening efforts to contain financial risks via ways such as tightening the standards of non-performing loans and raising the industry's average provision coverage ratio, according to the CBA.
The average non-performing loan ratio for Chinese consumer finance firms was 2.63 percent in 2019, slightly lower than the 2018 level, said the report. Enditem