China plans to eliminate the current asset requirement of $20bn for foreign banks looking to open branches in China as part of a series of measures intended to further open up the local banking sector.
Plans are also on to remove the $10bn asset requirement for banks looking to locally incorporate in China.
At the same time, China intends to scrap single shareholder caps in local banks.
Moreover, foreign financial institutions will now be allowed to invest in foreign insurers in China.
Previously, foreign insurance brokerage firms were mandated to have over $300bn in assets and over three decades of experience to conduct operations in China.
This requirement too has been removed.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission unveiled the measures, without offering any precise timeline on when they will be effective.
Earlier this year, ING joined forces with Bank of Beijing to launch a digital bank in China.
ING will have a 51% holding in the new entity, thus making the entity the first Chinese bank whose majority stake is owned by a foreign bank.
Previously, China opened up its securities market by allowing foreign firms to hold a controlling stake in securities joint ventures in China.
All these measures are aimed at increasing competition in the market, which has been hitherto dominated by domestic players.