J.P. Morgan Chase became the first foreign bank to seek local incorporation in Beijing, by submitting an application this week to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the Wall Street Journal reported. Foreign banks that incorporate locally can operate branches as arms of their overseas operations for corporate banking, allowing them to make bigger loans and service small individual accounts in RMB transactions. In December, the CBRC approved applications for local incorporation from nine foreign banks, although none of the banks have completed the process. The approvals came after an agreement with the World Trade Organization in November to give foreign banks full access to China's retail banking market. Local incorporation is meant mostly for retail banks but J.P. Morgan, a commercial bank, said the incorporation is part of its long term strategy.