OREANDA-NEWS. December 10, 2013. Reserve Bank of New Zealand approved ICBC's application to set up a branch in New Zealand. ICBC is the first Chinese bank to get the banking license in this country. According to Reserve Bank of New Zealand, ICBC New Zealand is a registered local bank. The branch is allowed to offer all banking services including retail banking and wholesale banking under New Zealand's regulatory laws.

China-New Zealand bilateral trade has continued to grow in recent years, supplemented by increasing investment and personnel exchange. New Zealand is the first developed country to complete negotiations for China's entry into the WTO, the first country to recognize China's market economy status and the first county to sign a free trade agreement with China. In the year of 2012, the bilateral trade volume between China and New Zealand reached NZD 13.8 billion. Today, China is New Zealand's largest trading partner. China is also New Zealand's largest source of international students and the second biggest source of overseas visitors.

There is an increasing demand for financial services against the backdrop of the booming trade and investment between China and New Zealand, which brings new opportunities for Chinese banks to grow in New Zealand. ICBC New Zealand will provide a full range of financial services to personal customers as well as corporate clients from China and New Zealand backed by the solid capital, international network and cutting-edge technology of ICBC Group, said an executive with the Bank. The new Branch serves as a bridge for the interactions between businesses and investors of the two countries. Under a business philosophy of "Prudent Operation, Customer First", ICBC will strictly abide by New Zealand's regulatory rules to support New Zealand companies and economic activities, with emphasis on risk management and internal control. ICBC New Zealand aims to be a bridge for Chinese and New Zealand companies and a new platform for the financial exchange and cooperation between the two nations.

ICBC is the largest commercial bank in China and No.1 bank in the world in terms of market capitalization, total assets, deposits, loans and tier-1 capital. ICBC has an excellent customer base, a diversified business structure, strong innovation capabilities and market competitiveness. It provides comprehensive financial products and services to more than 4.6 million corporate banking customers and 411 million personal banking customers through a network consisting of 17,000 domestic branches, nearly 400 overseas institutions and 1,600+ correspondent banks worldwide, as well as internet and telephone banking services and self-service banking, basically forming an internationalized trans-market operating structure focusing on commercial banking business and maintaining a leading position in the domestic market in most of commercial banking areas.

To meet requirements from customers and market globalization, ICBC has accelerated its overseas development over the past few years and built a network of some 400 overseas institutions in 40 countries/territories with full licenses and excellent services. This global service platform, together with a presence in Africa through holding 20% stake in the Standard Bank of South Africa, covers all major international financial centers and China’s trading regions with well-defined hierarchy, reasonable positioning, diversified channels and efficient operation.

Since 2006, ICBC has took the lead among Chinese banks to develop and launch FOVA, an integrated business processing system with an array of functions covering deposit, loan, remittance, bank card, online banking, international settlement, trade finance and financial market operation. At present, FOVA has been installed in all ICBC overseas branches for business processing and risk management, forming a unified global platform to serve customers worldwide.