BEIJING - Chinese banks have set up 1,050 outlets overseas as of the end of 2012, 6.6 times the number when China rolled out its reform and opening-up policy more than 30 years ago, the country's banking regulator said on Thursday.
Fan Wenzhong, director of the international department of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said at a forum that 16 Chinese banks set up overseas outlets at a time when the country made great achievements in international trade.
Meanwhile, the expansion of investment from Chinese enterprises in foreign markets as well as the accelerating pace of the yuan's globalization also boosted the banking sector's global reach, Fan said.
The overseas outlets covered more than 49 countries and regions across the globe. However, the top five banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China, played a dominant role with 955outlets, accounting for 92 percent of the total, data showed.
Fan said that the next five to ten years will be a critical period for China's banking sector to speed up its global coverage.
However, a lack of transparency in regulatory approval and political unrest in some countries have increased risks for Chinese banks' investment and lending overseas. Stricter supervisory measures after the financial crisis in some nations also brought about increasing costs and difficulties for Chinese banks to operate abroad, said Yang Zaiping, vice president of the China Banking Association.