BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

ICBC to open at Shanghai FTZ

Will be first Chinese bank with FTZ branch.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China’s largest bank, will open its first branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) before the FTZ opening on October 1.

Sources said ICBC’s Waigaoqiao Bonded Area (Waigaoqiao) sub-branch in Pudong will be upgraded as the Shanghai Free Trade Zone branch when the FTZ officially opens.

Chinese media reported that the Shanghai FTZ branch will function as an overseas branch and will be independent from ICBC’s domestic transaction system.

The same sources said the Shanghai FTZ will pilot a series of trials such as adapting market interest rate and free currency exchange policies, and supporting offshore banking. Banks in the FTZ are allowed to provide offshore banking, cross-border transactions and financing services.

Bank of China had applied to upgrade its Yangshan and Waigaoqiao sub-branches to branches in the FTZ while Bank of Communications will choose one of three local sub-branches to be its FTZ branch.

Foreign banks such as HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are reportedly also interested in setting up branches in the FTZ.


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