China Said to Accelerate Financial Regulatory Overhaul Plans

  • Proposals for a new system of oversight could come in summer
  • One option would see PBOC adopt role akin to Bank of England

China’s government is speeding up its plans to overhaul the country’s financial regulatory system, and a new framework could be unveiled as early as the summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the details are still to be decided, the People’s Bank of China is seeking a bigger role for itself, said the people. Changes under consideration would grant the central bank greater powers over financial services companies in an enhanced macro-prudential role, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

The country’s leadership has been looking at ways to improve financial governance amid market turmoil and slowing economic growth. A series of financial scandals and January’s aborted introduction of stock market circuit breakers increased pressure on regulators, whose performance has been criticized by Premier Li Keqiang.

Among the plans under discussion, one option gathering support would use the Bank of England’s position within the U.K.’s regulatory framework as a reference for what China does, said one of the people.

The PBOC, China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission didn’t immediately respond to faxed requests seeking comment. Calls to the news department at the China Insurance Regulatory Commission seeking comment went unanswered.

— With assistance by Keith Zhai, and Heng Xie

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