Regulation Delay Puts Foreign Banks in a Spot in Shanghai Free-Trade Zone

by swisscham in Consulting, Legal, Services, Tax

Lured by the mainland’s first free-trade zone in Shanghai, overseas lenders are left with little to do pending more details of government reforms. Last week, Bank of East Asia and DBS became the first two foreign banks to be officially approved to open their branches in the zone for business. More foreign banks were expected to be approved soon, government sources said. “The free-trade zone is still in its infancy. Although the government has announced a series of changes, details are yet to be confirmed. Until then, we shall not see any actual impact,” said Jack Chan, a managing partner of financial services for the Greater China region at Ernst & Young, one of the world’s Big Four accounting firms. For any bank, opening a branch is just the beginning of the business. The next and key question is where to find clients and determine the type of business and products that will most readily attract those clients.

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