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Overseas banks extend branches and hours on Mainland

OVERSEAS banks are adding branches and extending hours on the Chinese mainland despite the fallout in overseas markets.

DBS, a major Singapore bank, will officially open a branch in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region today. The branch has been running on a trial basis.

"The financial crisis has hit the global economy. But the fallout won't stop our network expansion to reach more clients in China," said Stanley Ku, head of consumer banking of DBS Bank (China) Ltd.

On Monday DBS opened a retail outlet on Sichuan Road N. in Shanghai.

Singapore-based OCBC Bank said yesterday it had started offering retail outlet services on weekends making it the latest overseas bank to follow suit on the Chinese mainland market.

OCBC Bank said yesterday it was opening four retail outlets in Shanghai and Chengdu on Saturdays to match its rivals.

The two retail outlets in Shanghai are on Fuxing Road M. in Puxi and Dongfang Road in Pudong New Area.

Bank of East Asia from Hong Kong began opening on weekends for retail clients in August, the first overseas bank offering major weekend services. Two-thirds of its 64 branches in Chinese mainland are now open at weekends, handling retail banking like deposits and wealth management.

Most overseas banks now offer consultations at weekends.

Overseas banks have maintained their expansion on the Chinese mainland and are offering more wealth management products to ride on China's targeted 8 percent economic growth this year as major international developed economies contract.

Overseas banks started local incorporation on the mainland to gain access to individual clients in 2007.

OCBC Bank has 400 staff on the mainland. Its workforce is expected to grow to 1,000 by 2010 as the bank expands.


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