BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's banking regulator announced Saturday that its regulations on farmer loans will come into force on Jan. 1 next year.
The regulations, which have recently been published by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), will regulate farmer loan issuance and help financial institutions strengthen risk management to avoid bad debts, according to a statement from the CBRC's website.
The regulations also aim to improve farmers' access to financial services and protect their legitimate rights, the statement said.
By the end of June, Chinese financial institutions had extended 3.48 trillion yuan (552.38 billion U.S. dollars) in loans to farmers, up 160 percent from the end of 2007, according to data from the CBRC.
At the end of June, loans to farmers accounted for 21.4 percent of the total agriculture-related loans issued by the nation's financial institutions.