China's banking watchdog said on Thursday it would "actively" handle applications to run business on the Chinese mainland filed by corporate institutions that Taiwan banks set up in a third region.
Such applications would be treated completely the same as those raised by corporate banks in a third region, under the present circumstance that banking industries across the Straits do not have a cooperative mechanism of regulation, according to a statement on the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) website.
"For banks incorporated or acquired by Taiwanese banks in Hong Kong and Macao, their applications to set up branch operations on the mainland or buy shares of mainland banks would be actively considered within the frame of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)," said the spokesman.
Currently, banks across the Straits are not allowed to invest in each other.
"The CBRC has always taken an active attitude towards letting Taiwanese banks develop business on the Chinese mainland," the statement quoted an unnamed CBRC spokesman as saying.
The Chinese mainland signed the CEPA agreement with Hong Kong and Macao in 2003.
According to CEPA, and following supplementary agreements, Hong Kong and Macao enterprises enjoy lower thresholds in registered capital and qualification for entering mainland service industries, including banking. Regional limits and restrictions on business scope were also loosened.