China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has granted preparatory approval to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to launch retail banking operations in the country.
The preparatory approval will enable the Australian bank to establish new entity, ANZ China, a fully owned subsidiary of ANZ subject to independent governance by a local board.
The ANZ has stated that local incorporation will allow ANZ to continue the expansion of its existing network in China by progressively seeking approval to open additional outlets. The bank also plans to seek renminbi licence to address the needs of local retail customers following the establishment of new firm.
Currently, the ANZ has three corporate foreign branches serving in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, along with rural bank in Liangping county. In addition, ANZ holds 19.9% stake in the Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank and 20% stake in the Bank of Tianjinn corporate banking.
Alex Thursby, chief executive for Asia Pacific, Europe and America at ANZ, said: “Local incorporation in China provides the foundation from which to establish a substantive foreign bank presence in China. China is a strategically important market for ANZ and we have a long-term commitment to continue to invest and broaden our business offerings to valued customers in China.”
The final approval from Chinese regulators is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, and it is subject to regulatory approval.