China to give foreigners greater access to banking sector: regulator chief

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: Guo Shuqing, China's newly appointed banking regulator, attends a news conference ahead of China's parliament in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Guo Shuqing, China’s newly appointed banking regulator, attends a news conference ahead of China’s parliament in Beijing, March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo

October 19, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top banking regulator said on Thursday that the country will further open up its banking sector to foreign investors and crack down on business irregularities to prevent financial risks.

“We will give foreign banks more space in the form of their establishment, shareholder qualifications, the percentage of their shareholding and their scope of business,” said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) at a news conference during the 19th Party Congress.

Foreign banks’ market share in China has decreased to 1.2 percent now from 2.4 percent 10 years ago, Guo said.

“This is not beneficial for promoting competition and structure optimization,” he said.

Guo also said China will strengthen regulatory management for the disposal of non-performing loans (NPLs) and continue to contain financial risk while curbing any rise in hidden debt.

Chinese banks have sold off, written off and reclassified a total of 979.9 billion yuan in NPLs in the first three quarters of this year, according to CBRC data.

China’s regulators will also guard against cross-market financial risks while further deepening reforms, he said.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch, Matthew Miller and Zhang Min; Writing by Ryan Woo and Shu Zhang; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Neil Fullick)

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