CBIRC Issues New Rules for Licensing of Chinese Banks and Insurers, Creates Three Licensing Categories

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The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has updated its regulations for the licensing of domestic banks and insurers in order to simplify and unify the licensing process.

CBIRC recently issued the “Banking and Insurance Institution Licensing Administrative Measures” (银行保险机构许可证管理办法) with the goal of “further strengthening the regulatory requirements for the licensing of banks and insurers, and standardising and unifying banking and insurance sector licensing rules.”

Key contents of the new Measures include:

  1. Integration of licenses issued to banks and insurers into the three categories of “financial license” (金融许可证), “insurance license” (保险许可证) and “insurance intermediary license” (保险中介许可证) and clarification of applicable entities.
  2. Standardization of licensing contents, including: name of organisation, business scope, approval date, address of organisation, date of license issuance and name of issuing entity.
  3. Optimisation and unification of administrative regulations and time requirements for obtaining, switching and returning banking and insurance sector licenses.
  4. Clarification of the professional duties and requirements of CBIRC and its ancillaries when it comes to licensing administration.
  5. Clarification of lawful punishments for situations where licenses are not used or administered in accordance with regulations.

“At present CBIRC has issued a large number of different types of licenses to banking and insurance institutions, and there are differences in the contents of the various licenses and their administrative requirements, making it difficult to adapt to the need for unified regulation following reform,” said a CBIRC official.

“Inspections have also uncovered certain problems with the usage and administration of licenses by banking and sector institutions…CBIRC has formulated and released the Measures in order to address such problems.”

The Measures are scheduled to come into effect on 1 July, with CBIRC stating that the next step would be for it to undertake work to switch existing financial licenses and insurance licenses.

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