Banco Santander Targets China

By Editorial 23 April, 2014

Spanish bank Banco Santander is seeking to expand its business in China, where it has several agreements to develop its consumer finance and investment banking business, according to chairman Emilio Botín.

Botín recently met with the chairman of the Bank of Shanghai (BoS), Fan Yifei, while on a visit to China to review progress under the cooperation agreement the two banks signed last December when Santander acquired an 8 percent stake in BoS.

"Although our presence in Asia is less significant than in other parts of the world, I am convinced that China will play a major role in our international strategy," Botín said at the meeting.

The agreement between Santander and BoS has started to come into effect and, as planned, the bank is forming a team of professionals to work with BoS to share Santander's experience in risk management and retail banking, Botín explained. The two banks are already working together on risk, and looking at ways of providing financing in dollars and renminbi to take advantage of their strong retail banking networks, Botín said. In addition, a working group has been tasked to identify other areas for collaboration.

The agreement between the two banks also covers universities, through Santander's global Universities division. Emilio Botín and Fan Yifei signed a joint collaboration agreement which includes international mobility scholarships for students, a training program to improve the quality of teaching, and other initiatives to improve services for university staff and students.

Santander has a representative office in Beijing and branches in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The latter is the only branch of a Spanish or Latin American bank in China, and it has had a licence to deal in renminbi since 2012.

Tags: Investment | Business | Training | Banking | China | Agreements | Professionals | Hong Kong | Spain | Retail | Services | Expats |


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