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Postal savings system to become a bank
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2005-01-24 15:37

China planned to restructure the Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau, the arm of the national post office that services customer deposits, into a commercial bank, China's top banking regulator said.

The aim was to push ahead with transforming the bureau this year, said Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

The Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau is part of the State Postal Bureau, also called China Post. It has nearly 31,500 branches and 250-million depositors.

However, an official of the Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau said Friday that China's State Council as well as the central bank and National Development and Reform Commission were now focused on the issue.

"I can tell that they are really beating the gongs and drums on this," Liu said, quoting an old Chinese saying. "Reform of the postal savings is already under way. In the future it will become a postal savings bank."

CBRC's Liu said reform of the postal savings system must be "firmly grasped" this year, but gave no details.

There has been heated discussion in recent years on how to reform the postal savings system, which currently holds slightly over 1,000 billion yuan (US$121 billion) in deposits, accounting for more than 9 percent of total deposits.

If the system is successfully turned into a bank, it will be China's fifth-largest after the Industrial and the Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China.

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