Vigorous Financial Opening Measures Will Continue in 2020: China’s Banking Regulator

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The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has flagged the maintenance of efforts to further open the Chinese financial sector to foreign participation.

CBIRC plans to “continue to vigorously drive the implementation of foreign opening measures, and further expand the vigour of opening in areas including market entry, business scopes and commercial operating environments,” according to a report from the Shanghai Securities Journal.

CBIRC said the it will continue to welcome and support investment and business expansion in China by a greater number of financial institutions from all countries, as well as accelerate the review and approval of qualification applications and spur increases in the participation of foreign investment.

CBIRC will also “continually improve regulatory methods that correspond to levels of opening, and firmly protect the bottomline against the onset of systemic financial risk.”

China unveiled a total of 15 opening measures across four areas in 2018, following by 19 opening measures in 2019, all of which have resulted in significant amendments to key laws and regulations governing foreign investment in banks and insurance companies.

As of the end of the first quarter of 2020 foreign banks had established a total of 41 foreign-invested legal person banks, 115 foreign bank branches and 149 representative offices in China, while the total assets of foreign-invested banks was 3.58 trillion yuan.

Foreign insurers have established 64 foreign-invested insurance organisations in China, as well as 124 branch offices and 18 specialist insurance agencies, while the total assets of foreign-invested insurance companies stands at 1.46 trillion yuan.

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