BEIJING (AP) - China has announced plans to offer deposit insurance in May for the first time as part of steps to liberalize the state-owned banking industry.

BEIJING (AP) China has announced plans to offer deposit insurance in May for the first time as part of steps to liberalize the state-owned banking industry.

The central bank said Tuesday that it will insure deposits up to 500,000 yuan ($82,000) as part of efforts to manage financial risks.

The measure would allow regulators to wind down a financially troubled bank without hurting depositors. Previously, all Chinese banks were assumed to be backstopped by the government to avoid losses to depositors.

Chinese regulators also have taken steps including easing controls on interest rates banks can pay in an effort to make the industry more market-oriented and efficient.