CBIRC Moots Removal of Asset Requirements for Foreign Investment in Chinese Banks

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China’s banking regulator has released the draft version of amendments to banking regulations covering a range of areas, including asset requirements for foreign investment.

On 1 April the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) issued the draft version of the “Decision Concerning Amendment to Certain Administrative Approval Regulations” (关于修改部分行政许可规章的决定(征求意见稿)) for the solicitation of opinions from the public.

CBIRC said that the Decision is issued for the purpose of “simplifying administration and delegating authority; optimising work procedures for entry into the banking market, and establishing market entry rules that are unified internally and externally.”

The Decision makes amendments to existing banking regulations and measures across areas including:

  • Reducing the qualifications review and approval scope for the appointment of senior banking executives.
  • Optimising related appointment qualification conditions.
  • Optimising the scope and mechanisms for review and approval of bond issuance by banks.
  • Amendment of certain provisions based on the principle of consistency between China and foreign jurisdictions

The Decision removes the requirement that foreign financial institutions seeking to found or become strategic investors in Chinese commercial banks have no less than USD$10 billion in assets as of the end of the most recent year.