Briefing: Shanghai regulators to introduce stricter P2P lending rules

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网贷监管又有了新信号! 上海要求行业余额和数量削掉半壁江山 – 21jingji.com

What happened: Regulators in Shanghai may force the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry to reduce the number of platforms by half and the surviving platforms to halve the outstanding loan balances, according to Chinese media citing platform operators close to regulatory authorities. However, no specific rules or requirements have been proposed, such as an implementation timeframe. Some of the biggest P2P companies are based in Shanghai, including Lufax, Dianrong, and Yidai.

Why it’s important: Regulators have been cracking down on risky financial practices and fraud over the past three years, which has led to the collapse of smaller online lending platforms and some major players exiting the space. With industry consolidation ongoing, the number of operating platforms as of the end-March has dropped to around 1,000—half the number posted last July and 20% of the number prior to the crackdown. The total outstanding principal balance for the segment declined 2.4% month-on-month to RMB 733.5 billion in March. Some industry experts believe regulators should be targeting top platforms such as Lufax, Puhui Financial, and Yirendai, whose outstanding loan collectively makes up about a third of that of the entire segment, to make inroads on shrinking the industry.