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China's unlicensed asset management firms still a threat, central bank executive says

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a mask walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, in Beijing, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, February 3, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Lee

QINGDAO (Reuters) - Some unlicensed asset management companies are still operating in China, causing a “serious threat to financial stability”, a top official of China’s central bank on Saturday.

Fan Yifei, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, told a forum that a sizeable proportion of the 5,000 third-party wealth management firms in China do not have the licence to sell insurance or public offerings of funds.

China introduced sweeping asset management rules in April 2018 to crack down on risky shadow lending and excessive financial leverage via banks’ wealth management products.

The central bank last month extended a grace period for implementing these rules by a year to the end of 2021.

The standards remain unchanged despite the extension, Fan told the forum.

Reporting by Huang Binbin and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by William Mallard

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