RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, China

Foreign banks in China remain positive on expansion moves

Foreign lenders strive to survive despite losing market share as domestic banks are gaining competitiveness.

Foreign banks in China are still fighting hard to define their role in the Chinese market and expand their operations 10 years after China joined the World Trade Organization, said analysts.

"Foreign banks are losing market share while domestic banks are gaining competitiveness. Moreover, foreign banks are still not yet free from the pressures of the global financial crisis,” said Johnson Ching, head of financial services for Bain & Co in Greater China.

Lim Cheng Teck, chief executive officer and executive vice-chairman for Standard Chartered Bank (China) Ltd., said China made a good start in opening up to foreign players but the threshold needed to be further lowered.

"We brought increased competition to the Chinese market and so provided more creativity anda better allocation of resources and improved the market efficiency," said Lim.

Melvin Teo, chief executive officer of DBS Bank (China) Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd, said Chinese banking regulators are very concerned about the pace of expansion of foreign banks in China and want to make sure outlets are not opened too quickly or without appropriate regard for their likely success. "Prudence could also benefit oursustainable development," he added.

View the full story in China Daily.

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