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In Depth: China prepares to tear down dusty bank-brokerage divide

Ban on offering securities mulled as foreign rivals raise financial bar

China’s securities firms are minnows in comparison with both Chinese banks and their foreign rivals.

China's regulators are planning a trial that could tear down the wall separating banks and securities companies 25 years after the barrier was first put up to control the risk between different parts of the financial system.

Caixin reported earlier this week that at least two large state-owned commercial banks may be granted securities licenses by the China Securities Regulatory Commission to test the waters. Sources familiar with the matter said the program will initially involve allowing lenders to offer only investment banking activities rather than a full range of securities services, which would include asset management, proprietary equity trading, and allowing customers to buy and sell stocks.

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