China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the country's banking watchdog, announced at a press conference on Friday that China Merchants Bank had received approval from the US Federal Reserve to open a branch in New York.
The Shenzhen-based bank, China's sixth largest bank, has become the first Chinese bank allowed to set up a branch in the United States since the US promulgated the law to strengthen supervision on foreign-capital banks in 1991.
China's largest lender, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), will follow suit.
"The first step for ICBC to set up a US branch has been approved. We expect good news after the third China-US strategic economic dialogue in December," said Lou Wenlong, a director of the CBRC's supervisory department.
Although the China Merchants Bank has met with some barriers before finally getting the approval, Lou still believed that it will not take long for the ICBC to set up its US branch.
The ICBC's plan has been in the pipeline for two years. The bank formally began the examination and approval procedures with the US at the beginning of this year, according to Lou.
"The State of New York banking department has approved the ICBC's New York branch application. The bank is now waiting for approval from the US Federal Reserve," said Lou. "As long as the US Fed remains open in its policy, China's qualified large banks are all willing to set up operations there."
For more details, please read the full story in Chinese (http://jjckb.xinhuanet.com/gnyw/2007-11/12/content_73518.htm).
(China.org.cn November 12, 2007)