SHANG Fulin, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), has recently spoken about new developments in the banking sector in a Q&A session with local journalists. According to SHANG, private companies will be encouraged to join the restructuring of “high-risk” city commercial banks, rural credit cooperatives and non-banking financial institutions. CBRC “is speeding up the issuance of guidelines on the development of private banks,” SHANG said.

By the end of 2014, CBRC approved the first batch of 5 banks with private company investment and one of them, WeBank, actually opened the business. The banks included Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group (in the Alibaba Group) and Shanghai Juneyao Group Co Ltd (the parent of Juneyao Airlines) which received CBRC approval to set up banks in Hangzhou and Shanghai respectively.