The China Banking Regulatory Commission will not handle applications from foreign banks to become qualified domestic institutional investors (QDII) until it issues further guidelines, banking sources have said. Some Hong Kong banks were even asked not to submit applications, while the Bank of East Asia's submission some weeks ago might be returned, the sources said. 'We have heard CBRC may issue further detailed requirements on QDII, and some foreign banks are being asked not to submit applications,' a source said. CBRC did not return calls. The QDII scheme allows designated financial institutions to invest funds from the mainland in overseas markets as a part of Beijing's policy to gradually open its capital account. The central bank last month issued rules for commercial banks, securities houses and fund management firms on investing clients' funds outside China, widely believed also to apply to foreign firms. Some mainland lenders, such as the Bank of Communications, have submitted QDII applications. Hong Kong lenders HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia and Wing Hang Bank also showed interest in the scheme, but only Bank of East Asia has applied so far. 'I think [BEA's] application may not be handled by the CBRC at this moment, or it may have to apply again after the details of the requirements are announced,' the source said. Bank of East Asia executive director and deputy chief executive Chan Kay-cheung said he could not ascertain if the regulator would accept foreign bank applications. A market watcher said it was surprising that the mainland regulator did not immediately accept applications from foreign banks. 'It's normal practice that detailed guidelines are issued after the principal rules,' he said. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has criticised Hong Kong lenders for not being quick enough 'to knock on the doors' of the mainland regulators when the QDII rules came out. A delegation from the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers and Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong will visit Beijing next month to sign a memorandum of understanding with the China Bankers Association on co-operation. The delegation is expected to meet People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan and CBRC chairman Liu Mingkang.