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China's outstanding P2P loans hit record high in September

OUTSTANDING peer-to-peer (P2P) loans in China soared 153.5 percent year on year to hit a record high at the end of September, a latest industry report showed.

Loans had reached 956 billion yuan (US$145 billion) at the end of September, according to P2P industry portal

P2P lending -- lending without a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank -- has grown quickly in China as investors pursue higher returns and small businesses and individuals seek secure funds online.

Lack of supervision has made the industry risky for investors and many P2P platforms have been implicated in shady fund raising. As of the end of September, there were 2,297 P2P platforms, 37.1 percent of the total, with operational problems, the report said.

The average interest rate for P2P lending stood at 8.7 percent, unchanged from a month earlier and still near a record low.

In August, the China Banking Regulatory Commission introduced new rules prohibiting P2P lenders from accepting deposits from the general public, preventing them from pooling investors' money for their own projects and capping the amount of individual loans.


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