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China to merge banking and insurance regulators

  • Mar 14, 2018

For the Chinese financial industry, this is the most significant overhaul since 2003.

China will merge its banking and insurance regulators as part of a sweeping overhaul to plug regulatory gaps and curb risk in the country's financial sector. 

The National People’s Congress announced the combination of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) on March 13. 

The measure is part of a government reorganisation plan that will see at least a dozen agencies merged or eliminated. 

For the Chinese financial industry, this is the most significant overhaul since 2003.  

According to some reports, some of the CIRC's and CBRC's functions, including drafting key regulations and prudential oversight, will move to the People’s Bank of China.

The CIRC has been without a permanent chairman since April—when anti-corruption authorities placed then-chairman Xiang Junbo under investigation. 

The move comes under the shadow of Anbang scandal, where the CIRC was accused of failing to curb risky borrowing and splashy foreign acquisition by the insurance group.

Last month, the CIRC announced that it had seized control of Anbang.
 

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