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Premier Li pledges help to private banks

Updated: 2015-01-04 19:04
By Zhao Yinan in Shenzhen, Guangdong province (chinadaily.com.cn)

Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to provide a warm environment to boost "moderate" development of private banks during a visit to Webank, the country's first Internet-based banking service in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Sunday.

"The opening of your bank signals a significant step in China's Internet finance and China's financial reforms at large," Li said, adding that he pinned high hopes on private banking to find a solution to reduce the mounting financing cost, and force the State-owned financial giants to change outdated service.

Webank, one of the five private banks approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission last year, is still in its soft opening period and due to officially launch in April.

Li officiated the final approval of the bank's first loan, a credit of 35,000 yuan ($5,641) to a truck driver in Shenzhen.

Gu Min, chairman of Webank, said the company will focus financial services, including deposit and loan services, to individual consumers as well as micro-sized and small enterprises, rather than providing service to big companies and people with high assets.

With registered capital of 3 billion yuan, Webank's largest stakeholder is Tencent Holdings Ltd, with 30 percent of the total shares.

Other major shareholders include Shenzhen Baiyeyuan Investment Co and Shenzhen Liye Group, each of which holds a 20 percent share.

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