The central government convened a meeting involving a number of commercial banks last week to discuss recent liquidity pressure, collecting remarks on further possible moves including the likelihood of lowering the reserve requirement ratio amid market expectations of a further RRR cut, according to sources.
Experts expect the central bank's move to lower bank's reserves may come as early as the second quarter as part of efforts to support growth.
"The central government spoke to major commercial banks last week, trying to assess their liquidity to see what the appropriate steps are," said a source, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions with the policymakers are private.
Officials pledged to take into consideration banks' concerns about a liquidity crunch, led by deleveraging efforts, including tightened regulation of the asset management sector that used to provide off-sheet borrowing, according to the source.
The source did not show signs of departing from the current monetary policy stance.
While the central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio by 1 percentage point for some banks on April 25, which should have helped banks ease funding pressure, recent data show banks still face problems.
Lian Ping, chief economist with Bank of Communications, said he expects the central bank might lower the RRR by 1 to 2 percentage points as early as in the second quarter.
Further efforts to unleash more capital are quite likely this year because banks need support to sustain lending, as credit expansion remains vital to support the economy, according to Lian.
Banks are scrambling for deposits to sustain the growth trend, as data show deposits only grew at around 8 to 9 percent this year, falling behind of credit growth, which grew by around 12.8 to 13 percent.
The struggle to attract deposits may drive up money-market rates and increase pressure on borrowers.