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In the News
CSRC to open up custody market

China's top securities regulator is planning to open the fund custody business to overseas banks, in a bid to improve market-oriented competition and promote investment supervision. 

"The rules to regulate domestic fund custody banks will be the same as those for qualified foreign banks," said an official from the Fund Management Department of the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Wednesday.

A draft of the new changes will be released soon. This will be the first time that fund custody banks from overseas will be able to enter the mainland's capital market.

A bank or a financial institution qualified to run fund custody business should take special responsibility for safeguarding investors' financial assets and securities, including stocks and bonds.

In China, commercial banks require professional qualifications from the CSRC and the China Banking Regulatory Commission in order to be custodians of securities investment funds. 

"The improvement of the regulation is in line with the trend that the custody business is expanding, and the fund market will be further opened up to introduce mature foreign experience," the CSRC official said. 

The new rules will apply to publicly raised funds.

The changes are based on the amendment to the Law on Securities Investment Funds. This highlights the responsibility and importance of risk management for fund custody institutions, he said.

At the opening session of the bimonthly meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Oct 23, legislators started their second review of the draft amendment to the law. 

By the end of September, 18 Chinese banks were qualified to approve fund custody business, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China CITIC Bank and Bank of China Ltd. 

Those banks are custodians of 1,100 funds with a total value of 2.37 trillion yuan ($376 billion), according to the securities regulator.

The CSRC official suggested that domestic fund custody banks should improve their service quality and concentrate on risk management to prepare for competition from overseas financial institutions.

The regulator said on Wednesday that it also plans to broaden the self-operated investment range of securities companies.

Those companies can invest in securities on the share transfer system for small and medium-sized companies and all kinds of securities in the interbank market, according to the CSRC.

In addition, securities companies can invest in financial products to gain returns for their own operation, the commission said.


Edward Lehman 雷曼法学博士
Managing Director 董事长

LEHMAN, LEE & XU China Lawyers

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