China will relax requirements for foreign banks to take retail yuan deposits and allow them to do business in government bonds, the banking regulator said on Wednesday, in its latest move to open up the financial sector.

For decades, China has carefully controlled the activities of foreign banks in a bid to protect domestic players, with foreign banks’ share in a fast-growing market falling to just 1.4 percent.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission said it would also abolish a “waiting period” for foreign banks to start doing yuan business and adjust requirements on operating capital management.

“We will actively and steadily push forward opening of the banking sector and reasonably arrange the order of opening,” it said in a statement on its website.

China will amend banking regulations and improve supervisory systems to help fend off systemic financial risks, it added.

In November, China said it would raise foreign ownership limits in domestic financial firms, a long-anticipated step that gives overseas investors greater access to the Asian giant’s financial services market.