Business / Markets

Zhejiang to deliver new style of banking

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-11 08:58

In an announcement after the Third Plenum Meeting of the 18th CPC Central Committee, China said it will "allow" certain "mature" private investors to sponsor small and medium-sized financial institutions, including banks.

In last week's Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang, the word "allow" was replaced by "steadily promote".

Zhejiang to deliver new style of banking

In a January meeting, the CBRC said the private bank trial will be launched in 2014, with three to five applicants getting licenses.

"We'll approve them on a case-by-case basis as long as applicants meet the required conditions," CBRC Chairman Shang Fulin said. So far, there are few details on the would-be banks.

You said that in the plan his group has submitted, Nan Cunhui, chairman of the Chint Group (a maker of electrical grid equipment), will be the main sponsor with about a 20 percent share. You and other local tycoons would take smaller shares.

Wang Junjin, chairman of Juneyao Group, said during the "two sessions" that he has submitted an application to form a private bank. Juneyao is involved in sectors such as food, high technology and aviation.

Wang, You and Nan all are either deputies of the National People's Congress or members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. All hail from Wenzhou.

But they have kept a low profile so far. You, for example, said he has low expectations for the profitability of a bank, because of increasing competition and the liberalization of interest rates.

"No matter how much operational flexibility the government gives us, we have to try as we advance. The key is participation. We have to work hard on our own and can't wait passively for policies," You said.

Chen said the arrival of a new group of private banks will be a breakthrough, because a regional financial system is being built to complement the existing national system.

But he said that these few new banks will have more of a "symbolic" meaning than a substantial one, because the difficulty of capital access can't be addressed by a handful of private banks.

Zhejiang to deliver new style of banking

China's top 10 richest cities 

Zhejiang to deliver new style of banking

Cities that are home to the wealthiest 

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