The China Banking Regulatory Commission says it will provide foreign lenders with a more even playing field when it comes to accessing the country’s domestic market.
CBRC has released draft measures that will amend the licensing and supervision of banking activities by foreign-invested financial institutions, as part of efforts to spur overseas investment in the Chinese financial sector.
The regulator said in an official statement that the new administrative measures will “standardise market access” for foreign banks, as well as reduce cut down on the bureaucratic processes required to open branches, engage in debt fundraising or examine senior executives.
According to CBRC the new measures will “provide a clear legal basis” for foreign-invested banks to acquire equity stakes in domestic financial institutions.
In 2017 Beijing has repeatedly flagged plans to further open the domestic financial sector, and the banking sector in particular, to foreign investment.
CBRC head Guo Shuqing said at the sidelines of the 19th National Chinese Communist Party Congress in October that the declining market share of foreign banks in China boded poorly for competition, and that overseas lenders will soon be given “more room” when it comes to ownership and business scope.
Foreign lenders have seen their market share in China’s banking sector fall to 1.2% from 2.4% a decade ago.