China has published new rules that will allow bank wealth management funds to invest in stocks and relax capital requirements for certain investment products, Caixin reports.
The rules could have a significant impact on the country’s $4.5 trillion wealth management industry, and could also boost China’s struggling stock markets, which are currently in a bear market due to worries over the US-China trade war and an economic slowdown.
The bank wealth management industry grew exponentially between the early 2000s and 2017, but last year regulators began cracking down on risk in the industry.
In particular, officials became concerned that wealth management products formed a major part of the shadow banking system. The industry’s growth slowed to just 1.7% last year, when growth rates had been as high as 50% for many years prior to the crackdown.