UK lawmaker seeks assurance over Chinese bank concessions
LONDON Oct 16 (Reuters) - Britain's possible relaxation of rules for Chinese banks wanting to set up in London was called into question on Wednesday by the chairman of an influential parliamentary committee that scrutinises the country's finance ministry.
Lawmaker Andrew Tyrie wrote to the Prudential Regulation Authority - part of the Bank of England - to check it had been properly consulted about Tuesday's announcement of steps to boost Britain's role as an offshore hub for trading in China's currency and bonds.
"Clarity is needed about whether conditions have been attached and whether such conditions constitute a change in policy," Tyrie said in the open letter sent to media.
"I would be grateful for an assurance that any change is not specific to a particular country and that you were not put under any undue pressure to agree to something about which you may have had concerns."
Finance minister George Osborne said on Tuesday that the PRA would start talks with Chinese banks seeking to set up wholesale banking branches in what could represent an easing of regulations imposed after the financial crisis.
A Bank of England spokesman said the central bank would respond to the letter in due course. (Reporting by William James and Steve Slater; editing by William Schomberg)
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