A cashier at a bank in Taiyuan, Shanxi province counts renminbi notes. [Photo/China News Service]

BEIJING — China’s listed banks saw their bad loan ratio decline in 2021 amid enhanced efforts to fend off financial risks.

All six state-owned commercial banks reported a decrease in their non-performing loan ratio at the end of 2021 from a year ago. The figures all fall within 1.5 percent, with the lowest at 0.82 percent recorded by the Postal Savings Bank of China.

Two listed joint-stock banks, China Citic Bank and China Everbright Bank, posted a decline in both the outstanding value and ratio of their non-performing loans.

The improving asset quality can be attributed to efforts to optimize asset structure and tackle residual risks, said Fang Heying, president of China Citic Bank.

To manage risks in a forward-looking manner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) disposed of 190 billion yuan ($30 billion) of bad loans, while the Bank of China defused potential risks on assets worth around 100 billion yuan in 2021.

The provision coverage ratio of the ICBC topped 200 percent for the first time in seven years, and that of the Agricultural Bank of China rose 33.53 percentage points from a year ago to 299.73 percent at the end of 2021.

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