Financial innovation to enhance Winter Olympics
Total financing earmarked by Beijing's banking sector for the construction of 2022 Winter Olympics venues and support facilities exceeded 78 billion yuan ($12.3 billion), of which 34.07 billion yuan has been already invested, said Li Mingxiao, director of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission's Beijing Office.
The outstanding balance of total financing in this respect was 24.21 billion yuan, of which 2.96 billion yuan was used for the construction of Winter Olympic venues, 20.56 billion yuan for support facilities and 684 million yuan for ice and snow industry-related projects, Li said at a news conference on Thursday.
The regulator encouraged banking institutions to ensure lending to Winter Olympic-related projects to meet the demand for infrastructure financing, simplify loan approval procedures, innovate financial products and increase financial service efficiency.
After the Winter Olympics, the regulator will further promote financial services for small businesses in the upstream and downstream of the ice and snow industrial chain, in addition to giving financial support to post-Olympic venue renovations as well as the production and consumption associated with ice and snow sports, Li said.
Bank of China Ltd, a large State-owned commercial lender and an official partner of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, has granted total credits of more than 60 billion yuan to Games-related ice and snow projects in more than 10 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, said Liu Jin, president of BOC.
"We will make greater efforts in promoting the public to participate in ice and snow sports by giving financial support to not only the construction of venues and infrastructure but also support services, including catering, entertainment, commerce, sports apparel and equipment," Liu said, adding BOC will improve personal financial services for skiers through relentless efforts.
The bank will also offer digital yuan payment services during the Winter Games via soft wallets, which are digital yuan wallet apps, and hardware wallets such as e-CNY cards and wristbands.
"Our bank has created over 40,000 digital yuan payment scenarios covering diversified demand for services, including catering, accommodation, transportation, shopping and entertainment, in Beijing and Zhangjiakou, Hebei province ... The Winter Games will bring us a good opportunity to further conduct digital yuan pilot programs," Liu said.
To meet strict requirements of COVID-19 prevention and control during the Games, BOC adopted innovative disease-prevention measures, like using different equipment for cash receipts and payments at its temporary outlets set up to serve the Games.