A branch of Industrial Bank in Guangdong province. (File photo/CFP)
The total assets held by Chinese banks reached a record of 131.26 trillion yuan (US$21 trillion) as of 2012, according to China's Banking Regulatory Bureau.
However, the growth of total assets in banks in 2012 dropped 0.6 percentage points compared to last year to 17.7%. The growth level was the lowest since 2007.
Furthermore, the asset growth of joint-stock commercial banks has surpassed that of city and large commercial banks.
Total assets of major commercial banks grew 11.4% in 2012, down 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier, while the growth rate was 27.9% and 23.7% for joint-stock and city commercial banks, up 1.5 points and 9.4 points from a year earlier, respectively, according to Shanghai's First Financial Daily.
The assets of major commercial banks accounted for 44.1% of the total assets of Chinese banks while joint-stock and city commercial banks accounted for 17.9% and 9.7%, respectively.
The fast asset growth of joint-stock commercial banks may be attributed to the booming interbank businesses.
Industrial Bank Co reported its interbank assets accounted for 39.62% of its total assets as of the middle of last year, becoming the first bank whose interbank assets exceeded its loan assets. The growth of interbank assets at China Minsheng Banking Corporation was expected to reach 150% in 2012.