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China regulator approves operation of private Webank

Updated: Dec 14,2014 11:59 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the country’s top industry watchdog, has given its green light to the operations of private bank Webank, a major step in deepening financial reform.

Webank has a registered capital of 3 billion yuan ($490 million) and its business scope includes personal, corporate and international banking, the CBRC said on Dec 12.

In the third quarter of this year, the CBRC gave the go-ahead for the establishment of five private banks including Shenzhen-based Webank and Hangzhou-based MYbank in a bid to better support the country’s small and micro businesses.

Webank, partly funded by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, is the first among them to open its doors to clients.

Previously, China had only one private bank in service, China Minsheng Bank, which was founded in 1996 in Beijing. Listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, Minsheng is the country’s first national bank founded by private capital.