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Title: Change in China's banking sector as an institutional evolution
Author: Williams, Guy
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explains how China’s banking system has evolved since the establishment of the socialist market economy in 1993, when the state began to develop a more standardised and robust system of banking regulation and commercialise China’s state-owned banks. China’s large state-owned banks, which were technically insolvent in the 1990s, are now some of the biggest commercial banks in the world. There has been a remarkable transformation of systems of governance and risk management across all types of banking institutions. China has developed a system of financial regulation characterised by close supervision and strong regulation of financial institutions to mitigate risk and ensure the banking system serves the real economy. This thesis has relied on qualitative research to understand this change. Interviews of a number of past and present stakeholders in China’s banking system were undertaken, including officials from the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the agency responsible for the regulation and supervision of China’s banking system since 2003. The thesis also makes use of Chinese language texts which provide the views of Chinese political leaders and banking officials with respect to reform of the banking sector. The principal conclusion of the thesis is that the development of China’s banking system can best be understood as an evolution of institutions which reflect historical patterns of political and economic organisation in China. This finding is in contrast with the main body of academic literature which evaluates the development of China’s banking system according to its degree of conformance with a neoliberal economic system. The thesis argues that policy for China’s banking sector was conceived and implemented by officials through a politically united, centrally controlled bureaucracy reflective of China’s bureaucratic tradition. China’s leaders applied the concept of ‘Chinese studies at the base, Western studies for practical use’ (中體西用zhongti xiyong), when adapting Western ideas and technology within China’s traditional political and economic system to modernise the banking sector. The deep concern of officials for financial stability caused them to gradually and pragmatically adopt international standards of financial regulation and resist policies of financial liberalisation and deregulation which were advocated by self-interested Western-educated bankers and government officials.
Supervisor: Nolan, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Institutions ; Banking ; China ; Financial Risk ; Governance ; Economic Reform