The Bank of China UK (BOC UK) is wholly owned by BOC and whilst it will take over all responsibilities for retail banking in the UK it will work in harmony with BOC and operate from existing branches around the country.
The official announcement comes after BOC secured approval for the subsidiary from the Financial Services Authority in order to meet the requirements of the EU Financial Groups Directive.
BOC UK CEO, Dr Kenneth Ge, commented on the announcement by saying: “The commercial ties between Europe and China are getting stronger and as one of China’s biggest and oldest banks we already work with many pre-eminent Chinese companies, multinationals operating in China, financial institutions and government agencies, which makes us a good, strong partner.
“The new subsidiary will not only be invaluable for our existing Chinese customers who are looking for a Chinese bank with global capabilities and reach, it will also benefit British customers that need banking services in China.”
He added: “We’re also working hard to introduce high-quality, competitive products and services for people living in the UK and our new subsidiary is part of a wider strategy to develop London as a base for our treasury, loan, retail and banking services, to serve customers in the UK and eventually across Europe.”
BOC which was one of the first Asian banks to establish an office in London now ranks as the world’s sixth largest bank and wants to build its European credentials and increase its presence here by:
• Being the preferred bank for customers that have strong ties in the UK and China by offering them a complete range of services that are accessible globally
• Introducing more products and services that are appealing and competitive
• Developing its technological capabilities to interconnect branches
• Utilising its International Network - in order to maximize its share of international trade and remittance business.
Setting up the UK subsidiary is the bank’s most recent move to ensure the “BOC brand” is acknowledged internationally. In 2006, following the highly successful IPO’s in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Chinese Government sold 20% of its shares to members of the public, to institutions in China and BOC formed international alliances with the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Asia Development Bank.
The inauguration of BOC UK will be formally marked at a ceremony on 20th November 2007. The guests of honour will be the Right Hon. Lord Mayor Alderman David Lewis and Her Excellency Madam Fu Ying, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK.
Notes to Editor:
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The bank of China (BOC) offers a comprehensive range of banking products and services to all market segments including:
Commercial banking is the traditional domestic core business of the BOC Group and principally includes corporate and personal banking and treasury services.
The Bank provides corporate customers, including state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign-invested enterprises, financial institutions and government agencies, with a comprehensive range of financial products, financing and financial solutions.
As the Bank’s investment banking arm, Bank of China investment Holdings Limited (BOCI) is a wholly owned subsidiary registered in Hong Kong, with over 30 affiliates and subsidiaries around the world. BOCI is a full-service investment bank with a fully-fledged investment banking team and an independent international placement network.
BOCI Securities founded by BOCI in 2002 was the first Chinese-foreign joint venture securities company that received approval to engage in A-share brokerage activities.
The Bank of China Group Insurance Company, Ltd. (BOCG Insurance) was established in July 1992 in Hong Kong. It conducts its business through six branches and two wholly-owned subsidiaries - BOC Group Life Assurance Company, Ltd (BOCG Life) and BOC Insurance Company, Ltd. (BOC Insurance). BOCG Insurance, together with its subsidiaries, provides a broad range of insurance products, including property insurance, auto insurance, employee compensation insurance, freight insurance, shipping insurance and medical insurance, as well as life insurance products inclusive of fixed and perpetual deposit life insurance and investment-linked insurance.
Brief history of the Bank of China
The Bank of China was established in 1912 and served as the central bank, the international exchange bank and the specialized foreign trade bank until the formation of the Republic of China in 1949.
In 1949 the Bank of China became the state-designated specialized foreign exchange bank and substantially contributed to developing foreign trade and the national economy.
In 1994, mainly due to the reforms of the financial sector in China, the Bank was converted to a wholly state-owned commercial bank and in 2003 the Bank started reforms which included improving security, corporate governance and employee training.
As one of China’s most internationalised banks it was the first one to open a foreign branch and its presence in London dates back to 1929. The Bank’s network now covers 27 countries and regions. The Bank has over 10,000 domestic operations, over 600 overseas operations and a total of 200,000 staff.
The Bank has gone from strength to strength since its inception and holds a hand full of awards including Euromoney’s award for Best Bank in China and Best Domestic Bank in China which it has won eight times..
It has also been included in the Fortune Global 500 for 16 consecutive years and is the official bank for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
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