Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group Ltd announced on Monday it had become the first Australian bank to be fully licensed to offer a wide range of Renminbi (RMB)-related products and services to customers in China.
ANZ, the one of big four banks in Australia, said it had received a Retail RMB license from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
"The license means ANZ's locally incorporated subsidiary in China, ANZ China, is now able to provide all retail customers in China with local currency deposits, mortgages, bancassurance and wealth management products and services," the bank said in a statement on Monday.
ANZ Asia Chief Executive and Chairman ANZ China Gilles Plante said obtaining the Retail RMB license was a significant milestone for the bank in further expanding its capabilities to support Chinese customers in building and protecting their wealth.
"The number of high net worth and affluent customers in China is growing rapidly and we see great potential to provide our global product and service expertise, and provide support by expanding our China network with a new sub-branch in Guangzhou in 2012," Plante said in the statement.
ANZ is focused on the high growth areas of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and their surroundings, which have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 5.3 trillion U.S. dollars and a significant affluent customer base, according to the bank.
Since August 2011, ANZ in Hong Kong has opened more than 1,200 RMB accounts for global customers settling trade transactions in RMB.
"We have found that businesses that participate in offshore Renminbi trade can benefit from pricing transparency, resulting in more favorable trade terms with their Chinese partners," Plante said. "ANZ is actively discussing these opportunities with customers in our 32 markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and North America."
The bank estimates that trade-induced Renminbi deposits will grow to 516 billion RMB (82 billion U.S. dollars) by December 2012 when total offshore RMB deposits may reach 901 billion RMB (143 billion U.S. dollars).