Consequences of China’s Opening to Foreign Banks
China’s government has recently implemented additional reforms to relax the regulatory environment for foreign banks. Specifically, State Council Order No. 657, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, announced a decision to revise the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Foreign-Funded Banks, effective from 1 January 2015. Implications of the revised regulations include removal of the requirement that a minimum of RMB100 million operating capital be transferred unconditionally from the overseas parent bank to the newly opened Chinese branch. In addition, in terms of the conditions attached to the right to carry out RMB-denominated activity, foreign banks are now eligible to apply to undertake local currency business after operating in China for one year—down from the previous three years. The requirement for two consecutive years of profit will be scrapped as well.