China’s banking sector has grown into the world’s largest in terms of assets over the past decade. Yet foreign banks remain niche players. According to Caixin, the country is taking steps to change that. On Wednesday, the top banking regulator laid out measures to grant greater access to the banking sector to foreign players. Foreign banks will have more access to the yuan-denominated retail banking and bond business, and face lower barriers to investing in domestic institutions.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission said it “will further push forward the opening of the banking sector in a reasonable order, to expand access, invigorate the market, while improving regulation to maintain the stability of the financial system.” It’s unclear when the new policies will take effect. Sources close to the CBRC told Caixin that the guiding principles behind the plan are providing easier access to financial services to foreign players, broadening their business scope and encouraging them to deeply engage with local businesses.