The Straits Times
Published on Oct 29, 2012

China banks leaving London to escape tougher rules


LONDON (REUTERS) - Chinese banks are shifting the focus of their European business away from London toward Luxembourg as they seek to escape tougher British regulation, the Financial Times said on Monday.

The newspaper said Chinese banks had complained to the British government over what they called uneven regulation and"rigorously demanding" liquidity rules in a recent letter.

"They are finding it increasingly difficult to operate in the UK under the current regulatory environment," the banks said in the letter, which was sent on their behalf by the Association of Foreign Banks, according to the Financial Times.

Chinese banks' main problem is that Britain's Financial Services Authority refuses to allow them to set up branches in London, the paper said. The watchdog had allowed many fewer branches since 2008, especially in cases where it was unsatisfied with regulatory levels in the home country.