China to merge banking, insurance regulators in massive overhaul

By AFP March 13,2018

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.

The sweeping changes were presented to the National People’s Congress two days after President Xi Jinping tightened his grip on power with the legislature’s approval of constitutional amendments abolishing presidential term limits and expanding the authority of the Communist Party over the country’s affairs.

State Councilor Wang Yong told delegates of the parliamentary session underway in Beijing that the bureaucratic shuffle was needed to make government more effective and efficient.

The reforms “eliminate systematic and institutional deficiencies that have prevented the market from carrying out a decisive role in resource allocation,” Wang said.

At the top of the reform list is the government’s proposed change combining the insurance and banking regulators into one agency, according to the proposal introduced at the annual session of the rubber-stamp parliament.

The new regulator will be capable of “holding the bottom line to prevent systematic financial risk,” the parliament document says.

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