PBOC governor says “some room” exists for chopping reserve requirement ratio

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — China’s central bank governor said Sunday that there is still some room for lowering the country’s required reserve ratio.

China’s overall reserve ratio, or required reserve ratio plus excess reserve ratio, now stands at roughly 12 percent, “a similar level as some developed countries,” Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session.

In the United States and Europe, the overall level is also around 12 percent, while that in Japan is more than 20 percent, Yi said.

Since the beginning of 2018, China has lowered the reserve requirement ratio by a total of 3.5 percentage points in five cuts, he said.

For a developing country, it is “suitable and necessary to maintain a certain level of required reserve ratio,” Yi said. “After our cuts, there is still some room for China to lower the ratio, but such room is much smaller than a few years ago.”

The governor added the country will move toward the goal of a clear three-tiered framework for required reserve ratios, with large banks as the first tier, medium-sized ones as the second, and small ones as the third.

China will reform and refine monetary and credit supply mechanisms, and employ as needed a combination of quantitative and pricing approaches, like required reserve ratios and interest rates, to guide financial institutions in increasing credit supply and bringing down the cost of borrowing, according to a government work report delivered on Tuesday.