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ICBC NZ to focus on business banking, commercial property

ICBC NZ to focus on business banking, commercial property

(22 November 2013 – New Zealand) New Zealand’s newest bank, ICBC New Zealand said it will focus on business banking as it sets up in the country.

ICBC New Zealand – the local arm of the world’s biggest bank, intends to branch into commercial property deals, as well as offering retail banking services.

The bank, officially registered on 19 November 2013 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, is chaired by Don Brash, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Brash said the first Chinese bank to arrive here had an opportunity to capitalise on the growing trade relationship between the two countries.

"It's interesting, we've got a lot of banks from Australia, from Holland, the UK, Korea, two from India, Japan...but none at all from China."

He said contrary to popular belief, the level of foreign investment coming from China was still low.

"It's attracted some media headlines, but it's not large compared with other sources of foreign capital."

Chief Executive Jun Jing said ICBC would initially focus more on business banking, but intended to provide full personal banking services in time.

He said the bank would fund commercial property deals once it had assessed the risk of the sector.

The bank was in the process of fitting out its first retail branch on Auckland's Queen Street, though no opening date had been set.

According to its website, ICBC will offer mortgage and personal banking products, as well as trade finance, remittance and international settlement services, including direct money-transfers between New Zealand and ICBC bank accounts in China.

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