November 29, 2016 / 11:41 AM / 4 years ago

China's banking regulator asks peer-to-peer lenders to register

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s banking regulator has issued new guidance to tighten control over a fast-expanding peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sector, the regulator said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday.

The guidance, which the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said was aimed at building a comprehensive industry database to lay the foundation of future regulation, requires P2P lenders to register with the government, the commission said.

It did not provide further details.

China’s $93 billion P2P lending sector has been a source of funds for small businesses overlooked by traditional financial services institutions that prefer big borrowers with better credit history and collateral.

But the government’s hands-off approach in the past has led to a rash of high-profile P2P frauds and failures.

This year, the CBRC unveiled aggressive measures to restrain the rampantly growing sector.

The latest P2P registration guidance was jointly issued by the CBRC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the CBRC said in its statement.

Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Robert Birsel

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