ANZ sets sights on China
Australia's fourth-largest bank has just been awarded a license to conduct retail business in Chinese yuan .
ANZ has become the first Australian bank to be granted permission by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, and will allow the group to provide customers with local currency deposits, mortgages, bancassurance and wealth management products and services. The retail license adds to ANZ’s existing Retail Renminbi (RMB)-related capabilities for corporate customers.
The move puts the financial institution in line with other global banking institutions such as HSBC and Standard Chartered as a regional Asian lender and comes just 12 months after ANZ gained a license to conduct business in India.
According to chief executive officer of ANZ Asia and chairman ANZ China Gilles Plante, the bank welcomed the opportunity to open a new sub-branch in Guangzhou before the end of the year.
"Securing our Retail RMB license is a significant milestone in further expanding our capabilities to support Chinese customers in building and protecting their wealth," he said yesterday (March 5).
"The number of high net worth and affluent customers in China is growing rapidly and we see great potential to provide our global product and service expertise."
Mr Plante also stated that the offshore trade will allow businesses to benefit from pricing transparency, and the bank is currently discussing opportunities with customers across its 32 markets - including Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and North America.
ANZ currently has stakes of 20 per cent in both China's Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank and Bank of Tianjin.
The high-growth areas of the Bohai Bay Rim (including Beijing), Yangtze River Delta (including Shanghai), Pearl River Delta (including Guangzhou) and Western China (including Chongqing) - which have a combined GDP of US$5.3 trillion - will be the focus for the bank.
ANZ forecasts that trade-induced yuan deposits will grow to 516 billion yuan (AU$76.4 billion) by the end of the year, when total offshore renminbi deposits may reach 901 billion yuan.
Since August 2011, ANZ Hong Kong has opened more than 1,200 yuan-denominated accounts for customers.
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