China's banking regulator plans to allow commercial lenders to diversify into non-banking services in an effort to move closer to international practices, the South China Morning Post reported. Part of the plan includes allowing commercial banks to set up financial leasing companies and insurance joint ventures, a draft of amended rules obtained by the newspaper shows. The revised rules will permit financial leasing firms, previously specified as non-banking financial institutions, to carry out yuan and foreign currency-denominated businesses, such as handling operating leases, taking fixed deposits from shareholders, issuing bonds and borrowing from other financial institutions. If they meet some requirements, banks would be able to control more than 50% of a financial leasing firm. China banned banks from doing financial leasing business during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 to reduce risks in the financial system.