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November 28, 2009

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3 HK banks set for Guangdong

THREE Hong Kong banks yesterday said they have gained approval, allowing them to speed up expansion in Guangdong Province under the expanded Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.

Under the Supplement VI to CEPA, Hong Kong banks can bypass the regulatory requirement that banks must first set up branches before they can further expand with consumer banking sub-branches in Guangdong.

The new provision will help cut capital requirement and shorten the time for Hong Kong banks to expand in Guangdong. In general, it takes six months for a bank to open a new outlet.

The expanded CEPA measures, which took effect in October, are aimed at strengthening economic exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

HSBC, Bank of East Asia and Hang Seng Bank yesterday said they have the nod from the China Banking Regulatory Commission to set up a "cross-city sub-branch."

HSBC and Hang Seng will open the sub-branch in Foshan while BEA will open in Zhongshan and Foshan early next year.


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