China Orders Surprise Audit of $3 Trillion Trust Industry

China’s top auditor is conducting a review of the $3 trillion trust industry, paving the way for a potential overhaul of a key shadow banking sector where losses on property loans are mounting, Bloomberg reports.

In an unscheduled move, the National Audit Office — which previously led an examination of bank exposures to Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. — has for the past month been inspecting the books of at least 20 trust firms, including the top five, to gauge the risks they pose to financial stability, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firms are being asked to report on their risky loans to developers and any plans to dispose of them, the people said, asking not to be named as they’re not authorized to speak publicly. The audit office is expected to submit its conclusions to policy makers in Beijing, who may decide on the future reforms of the sector, the people said.

While it is unclear what regulatory action the scrutiny will spur, the move illustrates how concerned authorities are about contagion from the property sector destabilizing the financial industry. Trust firms have this year defaulted on about 58 billion yuan ($8.6 billion) of investment products linked to property developers, which were sold to wealthy Chinese, according to industry data tracker Use Trust.

Read full story

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *