November 21, 2017 / 2:33 PM / a year ago

China suspends approval of new internet micro loan firms – sources

BEIJING, Nov 21 (Reuters) - A top-level Chinese government body on Tuesday issued an urgent notice to provincial governments urging them to suspend regulatory approval for new internet micro loan companies, sources who had seen the notice told Reuters.

The body, tasked by the central government in Beijing to rein in risks in the growing online finance sector, also told local regulators to restrict granting of new approvals for micro loan companies to conduct lending across regions, according to the sources.

The information office of the State Council, or Cabinet, and the People’s Bank of China could not be immediately reached for comment.

Companies providing small loans, especially on the internet, have expanded rapidly in the past year. That growth has been partly due to strong demand for credit from individuals and small business who are rejected by banks, and partly because of loose government rules. (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Alison Williams)

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