China To Create New Ministries, Merge Financial Regulators In Shake-Up

China to merge banking insurance regulators in massive overhaul

China plans to merge its banking and insurance regulators, according to an official document viewed by Caixin.

Since the beginning of previous year, Beijing has cracked down on leverage and risky market practices, with China's financial regulators releasing a flurry of new rules in an attempt to rein in risks.

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 responsibilities of the two separate regulators now overlap in some areas, leaving regulatory roles unclear, the document says.

The two regulators will hand off duties such as proposing laws to the People's Bank of China in a sign that the central bank is beefing up its regulatory role.

China will form a powerful new competition regulator in a bid to ramp up oversight of mergers and acquisitions and price-fixing as the world's second-largest economy seeks to make policymaking more efficient and coordinated.

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"Deepening the reform of state institutions is an inevitable requirement for strengthening the long-term governance of the party", said Liu He, President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser.

"We should understand the necessity of promoting this deep transformation", Liu wrote of the reforms.

The latest cabinet shuffle shows the government's battle continues.

China has also proposed forming a national markets supervision management bureau, which will take on broad responsibilities including antitrust and product safety. The heads of the new ministries, departments and regulators will be announced before the end of the annual session of parliament on March 20th.

The ministry shake-up also includes the creation of a new immigration management bureau and the restructuring of the national intellectual property rights bureau.

State Councilor Wang Yong briefed the lawmakers on the plan.

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