China leads the world in the banking industry with the total assets of 290 trillion yuan ($41.7 trillion) at the end of 2019, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
To advance opening-up of the banking sector to a higher level, China's banking regulator unveiled revised management regulations for foreign banks last year.
Foreign banks can establish branches and wholly foreign-owned banks at the same time on the Chinese mainland, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
The requirement on total assets for foreign banks to establish business institutions in China was eliminated, and the selection range of the Chinese major shareholder of the Sino-foreign joint venture banks was widened.
The regulations delegated and adjusted parts of the approval authority regarding the qualifications of the directors and the senior management personnel in foreign banks and the opening of the branches.
Review requirements related to equity management, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing were also added in the regulations.
In 2019, China's insurance sector has reported stable operation with the solvency ratio within a reasonable range, the country's banking regulator said.
The country's leverage ratio is stable and moderate, and risks are generally controllable, said the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
The next step for Chinese insurance sector is to promote the development of commercial insurance in social services to better satisfy people’s demands, according to the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Dec 30, 2019.
It was agreed at the meeting that commercial endowment insurance will be developed at a faster pace and the overall pension insurance structure will be refined. Support will be given to developing, by drawing upon international experience, diversified pension annuity insurance products and medical insurance and accidental injury insurance that are tailored to the needs of people over 60 years old.
The meeting also urged accelerated efforts to open up the insurance market and foster a level playing field to promote upgrading insurance services.
China has taken a further step in opening up its securities sector with a slew of new measures announced last year, permitting foreign-funded agencies to conduct credit rating business with all kinds of bonds traded in China's inter-bank and exchange market.
As the internationalization of China's financial market accelerates, the move is of positive significance to the healthy and normative development of China's financial market, said the People's Bank of China.
In July 2019, a new Bond Connect was launched, allowing access to China's inter-bond market and mainland investors entry to international bond markets.
Furthermore, China has expanded the Connect programs linking the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with the markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province. These programs allow investors to trade shares both in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland. In June 2019, the Shanghai-London Stock Connect was also launched, further internationalizing Chinese stock markets.
On Dec 1, China’s financial authorities will remove limits on foreign ownership of securities companies.
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