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BoCom widens areas to tap rich clients

THE Bank of Communications will expand its high-end private banking services to five more cities on the Chinese mainland.

The services will target high net worth individuals in Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Taiyuan and Qingdao, whose investable financial assets are worth more than US$2 million, BoCom said yesterday.

The country's fifth-biggest bank by assets said the global financial crisis and the slowdown in the domestic economy won't deter it from tapping these super rich individuals on the mainland.

"Despite the financial crisis, we will keep expanding the private banking business," said Xu Hao, deputy director of private banking services at the Shanghai-based bank.

Since BoCom started the private banking services in March 2008, it has offered them in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou.

Chinese banks are following their overseas rivals like HSBC and Citi to offer high-end services to millionaires in China's rising economy.

China is forecast to have 320,000 high net worth individuals who will own investable assets of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) by the end of this year, an increase of 20,000 individuals from a year ago, said a report by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co in March.

The super rich are forecast to have combined investable assets of 9 trillion yuan by the end of this year, a 7 percent rise compared to a year ago, according to the report.


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