China Construction Bank plans to form a new securities company when domestic regulations allow, the South China Morning Post reported. The move would be another step by the mainland's fourth-largest commercial bank by consolidated total assets towards becoming a diversified financial giant. Chairman Guo Shuqing said the bank hoped investment banking would evolve into a key profit pillar. Mainland rules still bar commercial banks from directly investing in securities firms, but the newspaper reported that regulatory acceptance of the concept of integrated financial firms appears to be growing. The bank revived its internal investment banking unit shortly before the banking regulator allowed it and five domestic and foreign competitors to create a service that would pool assets from mainland clients for investment in offshore securities at the end of June. It plans to consolidate its remaining investment banking functions in the revived unit, and follow that with the development and expansion of trust, asset management and leasing services. "Next up would be a securities firm when the authorities allow us to do so," Guo said. CCB was forced to give up its 43.35% stake in China International Capital Corp, China's most profitable securities firm last year, amid a restructuring before its US$9.2 billion Hong Kong initial public offering in October last year.