Domestic futures markets may be opened to financial institutions and foreign investors, state media reported. At the same time, Beijing would also make it easier for domestic firms to invest in overseas futures markets. To date, trading in Chinese futures is limited to domestic brokerages and some limited avenues for foreign firms. Banks, insurance companies and other domestic institutions do not have access. Zhou Zhenqing, deputy director of the financial and economic committee of the National People's Congress, said the government intends to open futures markets "step-by-step", with the top priority still being controlling risk. Under the new regulations, banks would be allowed to issue loans for futures trading.