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Citibank takes lending to Liaoning

CITIBANK (China) Co Ltd said today it has received regulatory approval to set up a lending company in Liaoning Province to accommodate more of the demand for loans on the Chinese mainland.

The company in Wafangdian near Dalian in Liaoning will be Citi's third lending company on the mainland. The US-based bank is the first foreign bank to bring in the lending model to the mainland after approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

The bank has already opened a lending company in Hubei Province while another in Hubei will be opened in the first quarter.

"Citi is committed to continuing to grow our business in China and we are delighted to be granted approval to establish a new lending company in Liaoning," said Andrew Au, chairman of Citibank (China) and chief executive of Citi China.

"We understand the importance of expanding our business to less developed areas in China and we believe that the lending company model we have introduced will contribute to the sustainable development of financial services in rural China," Au said.

A lending company doesn't take deposits. Citi is setting up the companies in less developed areas while it also has set up its banking outlets in major mainland cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

The banking authorities have reiterated the need for credit support to the rural sector which is under-served and sometimes ignored by major players.

Citi is one of the major overseas banks on the mainland, competing with rivals like HSBC and Standard Chartered. HSBC and Standard Chartered have set up rural banks on the mainland, targeting the growing rural economy.

Citi offers bancassurance, institutional investors products, a yuan debit card and individual non-collateral lending.


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