China's trust sector grew at a slower pace in the final months of last year, suggesting that official efforts to curb growth in risky shadow-bank lending may be having some impact.
Assets under management at Chinese trust firms rose to 10.9 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) at end-December, the China Trustee Association said on Thursday. That's year-on-year growth of 46 percent, a slowdown from 71 percent and 60 percent growth in the second and third quarters, respectively.
(Read more: Why China isn't ready to let trust investments fail)
But it's still swift growth by most standards, highlighting the challenge facing regulators who want to tame the risk from off-balance loans, which often flow to weak borrowers shut out from traditional bank loans. By comparison, domestic bank loans in China rose by only 14 percent last year.
State media reported on Wednesday that products worth $126 million issued by Jilin Province Trust, and linked to a loan to a deeply indebted coal firm, failed to repay investors when they matured in recent weeks. That followed a near-default on a similar product from China Credit Trust last month.