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Responding to financial crisis: Bank credit expansion with Chinese characteristics

Longyao Zhang, Sara Hsu (), Zhong Xu and Enjiang Cheng

China Economic Review, 2020, vol. 61, issue C

Abstract: China has sustained a high rate of economic growth even after the outbreak of global financial crisis around 2008 and 2009. Much of the growth stemmed from consistently high levels of lending after this period. Using a unique large dataset from all banking institutions in 90 counties across 14 provinces of China from 2005 to 2013, this paper examines the patterns of credit expansion by Chinese banks. Our study results reveal a clear pattern of counter-cyclical credit expansion by Chinese banks in response to the outbreak of global financial crisis. We find that ownership structure and bank governance do impact on bank lending: the large state-owned banks have responded more to political pressure to lend while the joint-stock banks and city commercial banks have been more profit oriented. The latter had increased their lending more to increase their presence at the county markets. Overall, compared with county-based small banks, cross-regional banks have expanded their lending much more aggressively. Differences in liquidity and deposit growth, risk management strategies, or legal enforcement cannot explain these results.

Keywords: Financial crisis; Credit expansion; Stimulus package; Bank ownership; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2018.09.014

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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