Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee
Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee

Employees in loans divisions in China’s banking industry are facing increased pressure after interest rates were raised, making it harder for them to approve loans and make commissions on already low wages.

“Our basic salary is only 2,000 to 3,000 yuan per month, so we have to depend on commissions,” said a client manager in a commercial bank. “Most client managers saw a significant drop in their volume of loan operations, so it is quite common that many of us fail to maintain our previous wage levels.”

Banks have cut the monthly quota on housing loans and increased interest rates amid tightening credit policies.

“If you want to make a loan, better do it now,” said a client manager at one of the four giant state-owned banks. “It’s uncertain if there will be any quotas next month and the lending rate could probably see a 10% rise from the benchmark by then.”

The China Securities Journal reported that China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Minsheng Bank and China Guangfa Bank had all raised the interest rate above the benchmark on first home loans. While some branches of Ping An Bank and Industrial Bank have stopped issuing housing loans.

Besides home loans, banks in Shenzhen have also increased interest rates on consumer loans and other types of mortgages by 5% to 10%, the China Securities Journal reported on Thursday.

VIP clients like state-owned companies and central enterprises could no longer enjoy the prime rate, but a lending rate above the benchmark.

Tighter policies have led to a slump in credit business and loans officers in banks are swallowing the bitter fruit of shrinking income.

Banks are adjusting the performance assessment system, an insider in the stock-holding bank told China Securities Journal, by lowering the target volume of loan operations and giving more credit to selling wealth management products and insurance.

An analyst at a large brokerage pointed out that the credit demand released last year has almost been completed. Given the lower demand for infrastructure and real estate projects, the knock on effect has hit the mortgage business.

Limits imposed on home loans will leave about 2 trillion yuan in credit available other types of mortgages, such as corporate loans.