Overseas bankers are upbeat about China's further opening-up of its financial sector and say they look forward to gaining wider access to the Chinese market as the country seeks greater integration with the global economy.
They are closely following the two sessions, the gatherings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, one of China's biggest annual events, and hoping to gain fresh insights into China's next move in the opening-up process.
"As the second-largest economy globally, China's financial sector has made tremendous achievements in opening-up and development. The internationalization of the renminbi and opening-up of the financial industry have led to continuous improvements to the financial system, which is conducive to foreign banks' development and participation in the domestic financial markets," said Christine Lam, chief executive of Citi China.
"To build up a globally competitive, multilayered capital market or a new global financial center, China has the potential to further improve in areas including capital account liberalization and tax reform. We look forward to more market access and capability, so as to better support our clients as well as contribute to China's financial mark."
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said that the country can be bolder in opening-up market access to foreigners and will steadily and gradually push forward the capital account convertibility.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission, the country's top banking regulator, has announced the decision to revise the implementation rules on administrative licensing for foreign banks.
The CBRC added rules on the requirements, procedures and application materials for foreign banks to set up or buy into domestic banking institutions.
Foreign banks are also allowed to report to the CBRC, rather than obtain regulatory approval, before offering four types of services, including overseas wealth management and custody services on behalf of the client.
"Standard Chartered Bank welcomes the latest revision of the implementation rules on administrative licensing for foreign banks," said Jerry Zhang, executive vice-chairman and chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Ltd.
"We are greatly inspired by China's continued efforts to expand the opening-up of its banking sector and to streamline government functions and administration. SCB will make the best of these favorable policies and grasp the opportunities brought by China's reform and opening-up."
She added, "The opening-up of China's financial sector shows that China is opening to the world at a higher and deeper level. We believe China's financial sector opening has profound significance and rich connotation. To be specific, it is directly reflected by steady promotion of the internationalization of the renminbi, the offering of financial support for the Belt and Road Initiative, and the opening-up of the country's interbank bond market."
International financial institutions such as Standard Chartered Bank could fully utilize their advantages in the global network and certain financial business segments to cooperate with Chinese financial institutions, regional development banks and multilateral development institutions and play a unique role in the these fields, Zhang said.
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