China urges banks, insurers to step up support for flood-stricken firms

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is pushing banks and insurers to step up support to flood and disaster-stricken companies and business owners to speed up their return to normal operations, its financial regulator said in a circular on Monday.

The National Financial Regulatory Administration said banking and insurance institutions should organise and mobilise disaster response, safeguard financial assets and important data and guarantee stable operation of basic financial services and key infrastructures.

The regulator’s circular came after extreme rainfall brought by storm clouds from Typhoon Doksuri battered several regions in China, killing at least 60 people and damaging homes, crops and infrastructure.

Banking institutions should strengthen credit support for small and micro enterprises, individual businessmen, it said, including for infrastructure repairs in key areas like transportation, communications, gas and electricity, agricultural water conservancy, flood control and prevention.

The regulator also asked insurance institutions to actively participate in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and said it would support insurance institutions to “actively meet” the funding needs of business entities in disaster-stricken areas for post-disaster reconstruction and production recovery.

It said it would guide insurance funds to provide long-term financial support for water conservancy, infrastructure, public services and other major projects through insurance asset management products and private equity investment funds.

(Reporting by Liz Lee, Tang Ziyi and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)