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Bank of China faces challenges, opportunities as SIFI


11:22, November 06, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Bank of China(BOC) is facing both challenges and opportunities after being named one of the systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) by the Financial Stability Board(FSB), said bank officials and economists.

The list of 29 SIFIs was announced Friday in Cannes, France. The list includes global banking giants such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC. The BOC was the only Chinese bank on the list.

"The opportunity outweighs the challenge," said Zong Liang, deputy manager of the strategic development department of the BOC, the nation's third largest commercial lender.

The BOC will be seen as a more stable and reliable lender when the bank expands its future global businesses and investment, he said.

But experts said being listed also means stricter regulations and higher requirements.

At the Paris meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in October, SIFIs were required to increase an extra 1 to 2.5 percentage points in core capital adequacy ratio from the standard for ordinary banks

This would restrict the BOC's profit level and market expansion in the short term, said Guo Tianyong, director of the China Banking Research Center with the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist of the Industrial Bank, said the bank's new position would also attract more clients as it would offer a sense of security and stability.

By the end of September, the BOC's core capital adequacy ratio stood at 9.92 percent, while its capital adequacy ratio was 12.84 percent, both above the requirements of domestic regulations.

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