China to merge regulators, create new ministries: parliament document

Bloomberg’s Tom Mackenzie reports on China’s plans to merge regulators responsible for $43 trillion of assets

Bloomberg’s Tom Mackenzie reports on China’s plans to merge regulators responsible for $43 trillion of assets

On Sunday, the parliament voted to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, opening the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

Divided between China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), regulators now oversee different parts of China's complex financial sector, and no single regulator has a complete picture of capital movements in the system.

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

China is restructuring the responsibilities, roles and powers of its state institutions to make them more efficient.

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The two merged 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.

A document presented Tuesday at China's National People's Congress revealed that the world's second-largest economy was to get a number of new ministries, including a more encompassing Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas as well as a Ministry for Ecology and Environment.

There will also be new administrations, such as an worldwide development cooperation agency, a state immigration administration, and a banking and insurance regulatory commission.

The sweeping changes include the merger of China's banking and insurance regulators and the setting up of a special bureau to oversee immigration issues, the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported.

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The plan also includes the merger of the ministry of culture and the national tourism administration into one.

When the plan is passed, the cabinet will consist of 26 ministries and commissions in addition to the General Office of the State Council.

The new merged entity will directly report to the State Council, or cabinet.

Speculation that China was considering the creation of a super financial regulator has been rife since the Chinese stock market crash of 2015, blamed in part on poor inter-agency coordination.

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