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Chinese Banks Aren’t Government’s ‘Poodles,’ BofA’s Ward Says

Rodney Ward, chairman of Asia corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Corp., comments on China’s banking industry. He spoke in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, China.

On criticism that lending is driven by the government:

“Increasingly they are asserting their independence. You mustn’t say ‘In 2009 they did this big stimulus package, hence they are poodles of the central government.’ I think that would be overstating the case. In 2009 they’d only been independent, in the case of Bank of China, for three years. It’s difficult to change the culture overnight. But what’s been interesting is more recently, where they’ve been asked to do projects that they did not have an appetite for, they’ve said no.”

On risks from shadow banking:

“If you look at the U.S., shadow banking did actually make a major contribution to the financial meltdown. What was striking in the U.S. was that the actual regulators didn’t see it coming. So they were completely unprepared for it. If you look at China, it’s very very different. The Chinese are on top of this.”

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