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The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
2016/03/30 12:35:00 GMT+2

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"Zurich is one of the most important financial centres in the world"

"Zurich is one of the most important financial centres in the world"

In January 2016, the China Construction Bank celebrated its official opening in Zurich. It is the first Chinese bank after a long pause to open a branch in Switzerland. David Gong, General Manager of CCB's Zurich branch, tells insight about the plans of the bank.

Insight: China Construction Bank has opened a branch in Zurich. Which objectives does CCB pursue with this branch? Why did you choose Switzerland?

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David Gong, General Manager China Construction Bank Zurich

David Gong: China Construction Bank is one of the largest state-owned banks in China. By the end of June 2015, we had 14´877 branches in main land China, and 29 tier-one overseas branches and subsidiaries, covering 24 countries and regions globally. In recent years, CCB has accelerated its globalisation strategy and overseas business expansion. The bank has set up branches and subsidiaries covering the major European financial centres, such as London, Frankfurt and Luxembourg. On 14 January 2016, we opened the new branch here in Switzerland.

In recent years, trade and investment between Switzerland and China have gotten closer and closer. China has become Switzerland’s third largest trading partner and Switzerland’s largest export market in Asia. The new CCB branch in Switzerland is a response to the increasing demand for financial services from both Chinese and Swiss clients. We intend to build a bridge for companies on both sides, creating a better understanding in terms of business opportunities, investment environment and culture.

In addition, Zurich is one of the most important world’s financial centres with advanced financial market and sound infrastructure for international trade and finance. CCB Zurich branch is the first Renminbi clearing bank in Switzerland, authorized by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China. We hope to contribute to Zurich becoming one of the leading off-shore Renminbi centres in Europe.

What experiences did you make during the setting up procedures? How was the authorisation process?

We started to prepare CCB Zurich branch at the beginning of 2015, and we were granted the banking license from FINMA at the end of November 2015. At the same time, CCB Zurich Branch was appointed as the first Renminbi clearing bank by People’s Bank of China. During the whole process, we received efficient support and great help from the Swiss authorities, the Chinese government, CCB Head Office as well as my colleagues from the preparatory team.

What products and services do you provide and which groups of clients do you intend to serve?

For the time being, our focus is on corporate and institutional clients. We offer them a full range of corporate and trade finance products and solutions, including payment transaction, clearing service, corporate finance with a comprehensive range of loan products, trade finance and treasury solutions, as well as RQFII (Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) services.  Swiss clients can count on our extensive worldwide network with Chinese companies and institutions as well as our comprehensive financial service expertise in China.