Foreign finance executives have endorsed faster financial reforms in China, claiming that restrictions still prevent overseas players from competing effectively in the country, the South China Morning Post reported. According WTO accession requirements, Beijing will allow foreign banks to conduct local currency business with domestic customers from December. But foreign banks must first meet a number of requirements if they want to open a new branches and this is likely to slow down the pace at which they can expand in China. Stakes held by overseas institutions in domestic banks are still capped at 25% while the securities industry is not even covered in the WTO requirements. "The reform on the asset management and brokerage side and capital markets in general is too slow," said CLSA chairman Gary Coull, whose sentiments were echoed by Kevan Watts, chairman of Merrill Lynch International, in his call for "a faster-paced increase in foreign competition in the banking sector". Speaking to the Financial Times interview, Coull said the slowdown in approval for foreign investments could see China's mismanaged brokerages rack up further losses.