Commonwealth Bank Expands Services In China

Image: CommBank
  • Article by Roland Bleyer
  • June 01, 2015 at 1:00 PM

As investment and trade between Australia and China grows, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is spending more time and money on facilities and features for its members across these countries.

The latest investment from CBA has seen the bank granted a Renminbi (RMB) licence for its Shanghai Branch by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). The RMB licence means CBA can now incorporate all aspects of trade and investment for clients doing business in the fast growing and deep trade corridor between Australia and China.

The licence also complements CBA’s Beijing and Shanghai branch offering and the bank’s presence in the recently expanded Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

James Rickward, Executive General Manager International, Institutional Banking & Markets says the license will increase CBA’s “ability to deliver holistic tailored solutions that maximise business opportunities and minimise risk for our cross border clients.”

“With growth in trade and investment flows expected to accelerate between China and Australia as a result of the China Free Trade Agreement, CBA is now well positioned to support our clients in our specialist sectors of Natural Resources, Utilities, Transport, and Financial Institutions as well as those clients either trading or investing in Australia or New Zealand where we are seeing strong deal flow specifically in the property and agricultural sectors,” he says.

CBA has had a presence in the Chinese market for over two decades after opening its first China representative office in 1992 in Beijing. The bank has had institutional banking branches in China for the past five years, opening it’s first branch in Shanghai’s Pudong District in 2010.

The CBA Group also participates in retail commercial banking and insurance in China through its International Financial Services business unit, and has significant long term partnerships with the Bank of Hangzhou and Oilu Bank. It also has a life insurance joint venture with China’s fifth largest bank, Bank of Communications (BoComm Life).

Rickward says CBA’s commitment to China and familiarity with the RMB gives it a unique position in the international banking world, as well as insights into the future of trade and banking ventures between Australia and China.

“We expect to see ongoing developments in this space as companies understand the benefit of using RMB ranging from cost savings, better trade terms and much improved settlements cycle,” he says.

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