More Chinese banks line up for London despite Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - More Chinese banks want to set up shop in London despite the Brexit vote which has prompted foreign lenders in the capital to consider bases in continental Europe.

Pedestrians view Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

British and Chinese government officials met in London on Thursday to unveil a “strategic plan” to deepen financial and economic ties between the two countries.

“It will support the integration of China’s financial markets into the global market through London’s financial centre, exchange of expertise and increase market access,” Britain and China said in a joint statement.

It takes forward plans for closer ties between the London and Shanghai stock exchanges.

The two countries underscored a commitment by their regulators to cooperate more closely in banking, asset management, insurance, and financial technology or fintech.

“Both sides welcome the continuing interest by firms, including Agricultural Bank of China (UK), Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, and others, in submitting further applications to establish branches in the UK, once they are ready to make applications,” Britain and China said in a joint statement.

Regulators from both countries were committed to working together to ensure an “effective review” of all proposals from the banks, it added.

The announcement may help soothe jitters in the City of London financial district that foreign banks will shun Britain because it is leaving the EU.

British regulators have already authorised London branches for Bank of Communications Co, and China Merchants Bank.

The China Banking Association will also open a London office “when conditions permit”. The Shanghai Clearing House also intends to set up a London office next year, the document said.

Chinese authorities will support Aberdeen Asset Management ADN.L in its application to register private fund management entities in China, and then launch private fund products after authorisation.

Chinese authorities will also "positively" consider the application of Heng An Standard Life, part-owned by Standard Life SL.L, for a pensions licence in China, the document said.

Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by David Evans