Deep but Narrow
The financial depth of China is good for a country at its stage of development. Beneath the level of large tier 1 banks, there are city commercial banks and a host of smaller local financial institutions that broaden access to banking services. In addition, the large banks are aggressively expanding SME and micro-finance. Financial broadening, providing non-bank financial services, is less successful, but is now a national priority. The bond market is restricted, but its development will be vital for funding of local governments and to wean corporations off dependence on bank loans. Equity markets remain underdeveloped, volatile, and poorly regulated. In financial infrastructure, the accounting and auditing professions have developed to international standards, but still need to develop credibility.
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