China says to further open up banking and insurance sectors

FILE PHOTO: People film the new sign of China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), the newly merged regulatory body, at its office in Beijing, China April 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will further open up its banking and insurance sectors, the country’s top banking and insurance regulator said in comments published on Wednesday.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said it plans to soon issue 12 new measures.

That includes cancelling a requirement for foreign banks to have $10 billion in assets before being allowed to set up a legal entity in China and removing approval procedures for foreign banks to conduct yuan business, Guo said.

China also plans to remove a requirement for foreign banks to have $20 billion in assets before being able to set up a branch, he added.

He said these changes would take place in the near term, but did not give an exact timeframe, in comments carried on the banking and insurance regulator’s website.

China has repeatedly promised to continue to open up its economy to foreign companies and investors. The United States and the European Union in particular have been calling for a faster pace to China’s moves.

Beijing and Washington are currently in talks to try and end a bitter trade war, with the United States pressing China to further open its economy to U.S. companies.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jacqueline Wong