The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Are new People’s Bank of China rules an anti-Ant thing?

The move by China’s central bank to tighten the regulatory screws on non-financial firms that own financial assets is long overdue. That it happened in the run-up to the blockbuster IPO of Ant Group – the ever-growing digital and financial firm – is certainly curious.


Can it be entirely coincidence that China’s central bank has chosen this moment – in the run-up to Ant Group’s should-be-record-breaking IPO – to force the country’s non-financial firms to register as financial holding companies?

The timing is certainly auspicious, or suspicious – or both.

New rules, set out in a briefing on Monday by People’s Bank of China (PBoC) deputy governor Pan Gongsheng, and backed by the State Council, China’s cabinet, are simple enough.

From November 1, any non-financial Chinese firm that owns two or more financial institutions must have at least Rmb5 billion ($739 million) in registered capital. Only then can it qualify as a licensed financial holding company.

[They got] away with all kinds of related transactions that created all manner of corporate governance issues
Shujin Chen, Jefferies

The PBoC also turned the screw the other way, informing any non-financial firm that owns a commercial bank with assets of more than Rmb500 billion, that it too must register as a financial holding company.

Pan’s words didn’t require much parsing. He groused that non-banks that had “expanded blindly, causing risks to mount” – but declined the opportunity to take responsibility for letting that happen.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree