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China Tightens Rules on Ownership of Unlisted Banks

By Liang Hong and Denise Jia / Jul 24, 2019 05:19 AM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s banking regulator rolled out rules to require commercial banks to improve their ownership transparency and equity management.

The new rules posted Tuesday by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on its website require all unlisted commercial banks to register their equity ownership with qualified custodians by the end of June 2020.

Qualified custodians are securities registration and settlement institutions established in accordance with law and not on the regulator’s blacklist. These custodians should have sound business management systems, risk prevention measures and confidentiality management systems, and have no serious violations or major negative incidents in the last two years, the guidelines say.

The equity custody of listed banks, including those listed in Hong Kong and the National Equities Exchange and Quotations System, China’s over-the-counter system for trading the shares of companies not listed on the two main stock exchanges, should be managed in accordance with existing laws and regulations, the guidelines say.

In a nationwide inspection of rural credit cooperative institutions concluded in April, the CBIRC found chaotic equity management in certain financial institutions. For example, some minority shareholders have sought to control banks and intervene in their operations to serve their own interests.

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