China's banking and insurance regulator announced Friday that it will take a series of actions to accelerate construction of legal and supplementary systems to further open the country's banking and insurance sectors.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said it will issue a notice on further widening market access for foreign banks, allowing qualified foreign banks in China to authorize their branches in the country to do renminbi business and derivatives trading business. It will also adjust the rules on working capital for foreign bank branches by aggregating the working capital of multiple branches of a foreign bank in China.
The regulator will revise several rules to remove caps on foreign ownership in Chinese-funded banks and asset management companies. It will set no cap on foreign ownership in financial asset investment companies and wealth management companies newly established by commercial banks, and encourage various banking institutions to introduce professional overseas investors.
China will launch policies to expand the business scope of foreign institutions, such as abandoning the requirement on foreign banks to conduct business in the country for at least one year before applying to the regulator to conduct renminbi business. It will also lower the threshold for foreign bank branches to accept a fixed-term RMB retail deposit to 500,000 yuan (,912), the regulator said.
In terms of the insurance sector, the regulator said it will issue a notice on lifting restrictions on the business scope of foreign insurance agencies. It will also raise the limit on foreign ownership to 51 percent for foreign life insurance joint ventures and remove the cap three years later.