Following the issue in July 2009 of provisional rules on the establishment of consumer financing firms, the China Banking Regulatory Commission recently granted approval to Bank of Beijing, Bank of China and Bank of Chengdu to establish consumer finance companies in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, respectively.

Under the pilot program, the three banks are permitted to offer personal loans for travel, education and purchases of durables. Such personal loans cannot be used for real property or car purchases.