The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed to “support traditional industries in upgrading themselves and accelerate development of modern service industries to elevate them to international standards”. “The Guiding Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Launching the Quality Improvement Action” explicitly stated that “the enterprise standard ‘forerunner’ system should be implemented”. With the strong support of the State Administration for Market Regulation and the Standardization Administration of China, the People’s Bank of China and China Financial Standardization Technical Committee have organized the enterprise standard “forerunner” activities in the financial sector, actively explored the new path of financial standards to help “furthering financial supply-side structural reform and making finance better serve the real economy”, and made positive progresses.
I. Deeply Understand the Goals and Tasks of Financial Standardization in the New Era.
General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that we should deepen our understanding of the international and domestic financial situation, correctly grasp the nature of finance, further financial supply-side structural reform and make finance better serve the real economy. Besides, we should take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks, including financial risks, to promote the healthy development of China’s financial industry.
The keynote speech of the General Secretary provides fundamental rules for the financial work in the new era and points out the direction of efforts for financial standardization. The goal of financial standardization in the new era is to further optimize the standard system, to advance the implementation of standards and to strengthen the international standardization and the supervision of standards, with the focus on serving the real economy, preventing and controlling financial risks and deepening financial reform. Through these efforts, we could make the standard system sounder, manifest the benefits of standardization fully, and increase standard internationalization level significantly.
Firstly, financial standards must be more adapted to the financial supply-side structural reform. Financial standards should play an active role in adjusting and optimizing the structure of financial system, building a multi-level, wide-ranging and differentiated banking system, constructing a standardized, transparent, open, dynamic and resilient capital market, and providing precise financial services. Secondly, financial standards must be more adapted to the requirements of serving real economy and play a positive role in adapting to the trend of innovation, creation and creativity, fostering new drivers of growth. Besides, financial standards should contribute to reduce financing cost of enterprises, to alleviate the difficulty of financing of private enterprises and small businesses, and to enhance the capacity of finance to serve the real economy. Thirdly, financial standards must be more adapted to prevent and control financial risks and play an active role in furthering resource allocation by market, government supervision, accelerating the construction of financial market infrastructure, and steadily promoting the localization of key information infrastructure in the financial industry. Fourthly, financial standards must be more adapted to the opening of finance. We should actively introduce international advanced standards and achieve effective connection to international financial markets. At the same time, China’s standards should be promoted to go global, participate in leading international financial governance and contribute Chinese wisdom and strength.
At present, the world is ushering in a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, and FinTech is growing tremendously. Financial industry presents new features such as more intelligence of product services, closer integration of scenarios, more prominence of data value and more concealment of financial risks. Just as standards played an important role in the three industrial revolutions, in the context of further integration of finance and technology, it is more important to give priority to standards and use standards to achieve financial infrastructure interconnection. Based on standards, we can promote transparency of financial products and services, advance integration and cooperation of finance and the real economy, and unify prevention and control of financial risks.
II. Continue Commitment to Our People-Centered Philosophy of Development
to Advance Financial Standardization.
General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that “we must put the people’s interests above all else”, “keep improving the people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security”. Since the 18th National Congress of the Party, financial standardization has been implementing the decisions and plans of the Central Committee and the State Council, continuing commitment to our people-centered philosophy of development and actively exploring financial standardization for the people and enterprises in areas like inclusive finance, currency, gold and silver, FinTech and cyber-security. Firstly, standards of inclusive finance like bank outlet services, bank product’s instructions, inclusive financial service points in rural areas and statistics of financial consumer’s complaints, have improved the degree of standardization of financial products and services, and promoted the quality of financial services. Secondly, management standards of currency, gold and silver, like discriminant ability of RMB cash machinery and ability of sorting out RMB unsuitable for circulation, have improved the level of preventing counterfeit currency and guaranteed the order of currency circulation and national financial security. Thirdly, financial standards like financial mobile payment, financial IC card, non-bank payment, bar code payment, financial cloud and voiceprint recognition have supported and driven the development of China’s FinTech industry, served the real economy and made people’s life more convenient. Fourthly, financial cyber-security standards, like hierarchical protection for financial information system, information security of online banking, have improved the security protection level of financial network and information system, and ensured the safe and stable operation of the system.
Currently, problems like lacking of and partly obsolete financial standards still exist, besides, the financial service standards is still insufficient. This situation cannot meet the requirement of high-quality development of finance and still lags behind the people’s expectations.
Meeting national standards is the bottom line and reaching industry standards is the threshold. Standards that truly reflect and meet the application of new technological innovation in a timely and accurate manner tend to be group and enterprise ones. Enterprises are the principle players of standardization and the main forces of standard formulation and implementation; besides, the level of standardization also reflects the core competitiveness of enterprises to a certain extent.
On the basis of summarizing financial standardizatio in recent years and combining the needs of financial services for the people, the People's Bank of China selects point of sales terminal (POS), automatic teller machine (ATM), bar code payment terminal, and currency sorter as four aspects of financial machines and tools, besides with two aspects in financial services, i.e. bank outlet services and online banking services, to organize and carry out the enterprise standard “forerunner” activities in the financial sector in 2019. It is hoped that these activities will stimulate the vigor of market participants in constructing financial standards, create an atmosphere of “aligning with the forerunners in production and service, choosing the forerunners in consumption and application”, promote enterprises of financial machines and tools and financial services to conscientiously implement the “Standardization Law”, organize production and operation activities in accordance with the standards, and devote enterprise standards to steer quality improvement and promote consumption upgrading. With these achievements, we will improve the people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security to financial services.
III. Continue Advancing The Enterprise Standard “Forerunner”
Activities in The Financial Sector.
It is an innovative work to carry out the Enterprise Standard “Forerunner” Activities in the financial sector. We should not only encourage all parties to participate actively, but also constantly summarize experiences, expand the range of standards and attract more enterprises to participate as a regular activity to continue in the future. Relevant departments and branches of the People’s Bank of China should actively organize banking institutions and enterprises of financial machines and tools to participate in the activities, publicize in various forms and directions, and enhance the brand value and reputation of the “forerunner” activities. Banking institutions and enterprises of financial machines and tools should be encouraged to compete as “forerunners” and actively declare their enterprise standards publicly, which should be legitimate, compliant and practical. Besides, the products and services should meet the open enterprise standards and should not be fraudulent. Organizations participating in evaluation should formulate scientific evaluation programs, follow the principles of fairness, justice and openness, and verify the evaluation results by means of testing and certification, as to ensure the seriousness of the list of “forerunners”. Furthermore, banking institutions should be encouraged to establish the quality credit financing system, incorporate the enterprise standard level of financiers into the reference factors of loan origination, and provide credit support for the enterprise standard “forerunners” in other industries, as to promote high-quality economic development.
At the meantime, while carrying out the enterprise standard “forerunner” activities, relevant organizations and departments should pay attention to work summaries, in order to gather experiences for conducting following activities in a constant and long-term manner. The first is to stimulate the innovation driving force of financial institutions. We need to promote financial institutions to transform innovative achievements into standards, consolidate technological advantages with standard superiority, continuously improve the progressiveness, effectiveness and applicability of standards, as to enhance the competitiveness of financial products and services in China. The second is to further establish the governance system of "a product must have standards". We need to strengthen the synergy between product innovation and standardization and promote financial institutions to provide products and services according to standards. In this governance system, consumers will enjoy their rights and interests such as the right to know, the right to choose independently, the right to trade fairly and the right to claim compensation according to standards. Besides, all sectors of the society can supervise financial products according to standards, and the administrative departments can improve their level of inclusive supervision for innovative products and services according to national and industrial standards. The third is to develop several financial institutions with high quality products, good customer services and strict implementation of standards. Around the needs of national industrial transformation and consumption upgrading, we should guide financial institutions to raise their level aiming at international standards and cultivate a group of enterprise standard “forerunners” in the financial sector to support and promote the opening of financial markets and enhance the competitiveness of China’s financial institutions. The fourth is to continue expanding fields of the activities. While continuing to cultivate inclusive finance, currency, gold and silver, FinTech, cyber-security, we should keep exploring new areas of financial standardization, and guiding financial institutions and related enterprises to constantly improve their product service quality and user service experiences.