China regulator pledges steady opening-up in banking sector

Updated: Dec 13, 2017 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING — China’s banking regulator pledged to steadily advance opening up of the banking industry following the latest government move to widen foreign access to the financial sector on Dec 13.

China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao last month disclosed that the country will abolish foreign ownership restrictions in Chinese banks, which limited a single foreign investor’s stake to 20 percent or less and that of total foreign ownership to 25 percent.

“The core of the policy adjustment is to give foreign investors national treatment in the banking sector,” noted Fan Wenzhong, head of the international department at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

In the next steps, Fan said China will give foreign banks more freedom in choosing their form of existence in China, expand their scope of business, encourage branches of foreign banks to conduct business concerning government bonds, and ease restrictions on renminbi retail banking for foreign banks.

Authorities will also move to improve regulatory rules concerning capital management requirements.

To facilitate the implementation of the policies, Fan said the CBRC will start to revise related laws and regulations.

Official data showed at the end of November, China had 210 foreign banking institutions.

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