【英语中国】Lex专栏:中国不能“宠坏”银行

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所属分类:双语中国

2010-10-29 22:58

小艾摘要: Scattered throughout Wednesday’s third-quarter numbers from Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, the first of the country’s big lenders to report, are homilies about “promoting healthy de ...
Scattered throughout Wednesday’s third-quarter numbers from Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, the first of the country’s big lenders to report, are homilies about “promoting [the bank’s] healthy development” and “managing risks and sharpening competitiveness”. This isn’t just the standard cant. The age of irresponsibility is over.

Last year’s splurge of new lending across the banking system – up 32 per cent from 2008 – was deemed necessary to safeguard the nation’s recovery. Job done: asset growth over the past nine months has been more moderate at 15 per cent for BoC and 14 per cent for AgBank. That is consistent with expectations of new loan targets for 2011, likely to be set about Rmb7,000bn, to deliver growth of 14 to 15 per cent.

Further, the maximum 75 per cent loan-to-deposit ratio, relaxed during the crisis, is now more rigorously enforced by the regulator (BoC squeaks in at 74.7 per cent).

Finally, capital concerns are front and centre. As BoC disclosed an above average core capital ratio of 9.4 per cent, Citic (below average) received approval from the regulator to issue shares in Shanghai and/or Hong Kong. Last week, BoC and China Construction Bank (also above average) got the green light to raise as much as Rmb135bn between them.

Restraint is overdue. Seven successive years of rising profits, culminating in last year’s extraordinary surge, have given banks outsize returns. At AgBank, for example, return on equity in the first three quarters was 23 per cent – far above the 16 per cent average for companies in the broader CSI 300, suggesting bank returns had grown too high relative to the economy. Last year, regulators turned a blind eye to margins as bankers were garlanded as model workers. Now it is back to the humdrum business of serving the productive economy.

中国银行(BoC)和中国农业银行(ABC)——中国首批发布业绩的大型银行——周三发布的第三季度业绩报告中,通篇可见关于“促进(银行)健康发展”和“管理风险、提升竞争力”的说教。这不仅仅是套话。不负责任的时代已经结束。

去年,整个银行业体系大举放贷 —— 新增贷款比2008年增长32% —— 被视为确保中国经济复苏的必要之举。任务已经完成:过去9个月,资产增长速度缓和了许多,中行和农行分别为15%和14%。这符合人们对2011年新增贷款目标的预期——可能定为7万亿元人民币左右,增长率介于14%-15%之间。

此外,危机期间有所放宽的贷存比率上限正得到更严格的执行。(中行的这一比率为74.7%,逼近75%的上限。)

最后,资本状况是最关键的问题。中行披露的核心资本比率为9.4%,高于平均水平,而资本比率低于平均水平的中信银行,则获准在上海和香港两地或其中一地增发新股。上周,中行和中国建设银行(CCB)(资本比率也高于平均水平)获准总共融资1350亿元人民币。

早该对银行多加管束了。银行利润连续7年增长,去年达到极致,增幅惊人,银行因此获得非同一般的收益。例如,农行在前3个季度的股本回报率(ROE)达到23%,远高于沪深300指数成分股公司的平均水平(16%),表明银行收益相对于总体经济而言已处于过高水平。去年监管部门对银行的利润率视若无睹,因为银行家正被塑造成模范工作者。如今,银行正回归到服务于经济生产的寻常事务之中。

Lex专栏是由FT评论家联合撰写的短评,对全球经济与商业进行精辟分析

译者/杨远

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