RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

China relaxes ownership regulations further in financial opening

Billion-dollar asset requirements have been removed.

Bloomberg reports that China is scrapping limits on ownership in local banks and size requirements for foreign firms operating onshore as part of its overall plan to open up its $44t financial sector to the rest of the world.

Previously, foreign banks seeking to set up branches and wanting to be locally incorporated in China had to meet asset requirements of $20b and $10b respectively. 

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Overseas insurance groups will also be allowed to set up units and invest in foreign insurers in the world’s second-biggest economy following high-level trade talks between China and the U.S.

Also readJapanese players cash in on China's financial opening as US banks flounder

The rule requiring foreign insurance brokerages to have over 30 years of operating experience and more than $200m in assets has also been removed and the guidelines governing how foreign and Chinese companies can set up consumer finance firms have also been relaxed. 

Already, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and UBS have seized upon the opportunity to increase their holdings in their Chinese units and Dutch firm ING also unveiled plans to take a 51% stake in an onshore retail banking venture under the new ownership regulations.  

Here's more from Bloomberg

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