China to Merge Banking, Insurance Regulators: Document

Bloomberg’s Tom Mackenzie reports on China’s plans to merge regulators responsible for $43 trillion of assets

Financial regulators have cracked down on major companies - even taking over Anbang Insurance this year - to get a handle on the building risk and unwieldy debt that some analysts worry pose a serious threat to China's financial stability.

Functions such as drafting key regulations and prudential oversight will be transferred to the PBOC, according to the document.

President Xi Jinping announced in 2015 the People's Liberation Army would cut troop levels by 300,000, aiming to make the bulk of the reductions by the end of 2017, as it seeks to spend more money on high-tech weapons for its navy and air force and become a leaner and more strategic force.

"It focuses on the needs of development and meets the people's expectations", Wang said, adding that the restructuring forms part of a broader plan by the Communist Party of China to deepen the reform of the Party and state institutions.

The proposed commission will be responsible for formulating national health policies, coordinating and advancing medical and healthcare reform, establishing a national basic medicine system, supervising and administering public health, medicare and health emergencies, as well as family planning services, the document said.


The securities and state assets regulators were not mentioned among the proposed changes.

China unveiled plans on Tuesday for the biggest shakeup of government in at least a decade, including the merger of its banking and insurance regulators to better handle financial risks as leaders look to address concerns over a growing debt pile.

In total China will have 26 ministries and commissions when the changes are formally approved.

"China's whole regulatory system will change directions, from sector oversight to oversight of specific financial activities", said Betty Wang an economist at ANZ Bank. It has grown rapidly in size and complexity, emerging as one of the world's largest with financial assets at almost 470 percent of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Such regulatory arbitrage and risky cross-asset investments have anxious policymakers.

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