Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has warned that bad loans in the country will inevitably rise and weaker lenders will be wiped out as Beijing relaxes its grip on the economy, Financial Times reported on Wednesday. But Jiang hit back at the foreign critics who have raised questions about the resilience of China’s banks after the lending spree that powered the country through the 2008 global financial crisis, the paper said. ICBC is prepared for the challenges and should not be held to impossibly high standards, he was quoted as saying in an interview. ICBC’s current non-performing loan ratio of 0.91 per cent is “excessively good”, but is bound to increase as the bank extends more credit to riskier borrowers such as small companies and households, Jiang said.
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