Foreign banks are getting ready to expand in China as the December 11 date that will see restrictions lifted on their ability to open branches and offer products to locals approaches, the Financial Times reported. A group of 10 overseas banks are putting the finishing touches on expansion plans and regulators are expected to issue detailed implementation guidelines this week. The opening of the sector is part of China's WTO accession agreement. Although more than 70 overseas banks have already set up 238 operating branches in China, by the end of 2005 they provided only 0.55% of loans in local currency, the newspaper reported. Standard Chartered was the first to apply to set up a local subsidiary. HSBC, Citigroup and ABN AMRO are likely to follow.