China has approved a plan to turn the nation’s huge postal savings system into a bank, which is set to become the nation’s fifth largest lender, the China Daily reported.
The approval for the China Postal Savings Bank to start operations was given by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the newspaper said.
The bank will be wholly owned by the China Post Group, a 10 bln usd company formed out of the State Post Bureau, formally both the supervisor and a major player in postal services, the China Daily said, citing the commission.
‘China Postal Savings Bank will focus on developing retail and intermediary businesses, to offer basic financial services for residents,’ the newspaper quoted a statement of the commission as saying.
In 2005, there were more than 36,000 postal savings outlets across the country, with two thirds of them distributed in rural areas.
Post offices in China started postal savings services in 1986 but they could only accept deposits from the public and not offer loans, the report said.
The deposit balance of post savings recorded 1.3 trln yuan (166 bln usd) by the end of 2005, accounting for nearly 10 pct of China’s household savings.
The biggest four lenders in China are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China.Read More