January 4, 2020 / 7:41 AM / 25 days ago

China banking regulator eases market access for foreign lenders

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s banking and insurance regulator (CBIRC) has released new rules which make it easier for foreign lenders to enter the Chinese market.

The measures cancel the total asset requirements for foreign banks to set up businesses in China and relax limitations on shareholders of joint venture lenders, according to a notice posted on the CBIRC official website late on Friday.

Foreign lenders will also be able to open both branches and wholly foreign-owned banks at the same time in China, it said.

Meanwhile, the requirements for equity management and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing have been tightened, it added.

China said in October it planned to remove business restrictions on foreign banks, brokerages and fund management firms.

The country is currently locked in a tit-for-tat trade battle with the United States in which China has been touting its free trade credentials. But the two sides have agreed on a partial deal which could be signed soon.

Reporting by Engen Tham; Editing by Kim Coghill

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