TORONTO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC Bank Group) said Tuesday that it will begin retail and corporate banking operations under the banner The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Canada) in Canada.
ICBC (Canada) will provide a business platform for the Bank Group to expand into the Canadian market and, along with its New York branch, further strengthen the Bank Group's North American presence.
In January of this year, the ICBC Bank Group completed the acquisition of 70 percent of The Bank of East Asia (BEA Canada).
With the announcement on Tuesday, all former BEA (Canada) branches, four in Toronto and two in Vancouver, will be converted to offices of ICBC (Canada). The new ICBC (Canada) will have a client base of around 10,000 retail and corporate customers.
Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the ICBC Bank Group, noted that Canada was one of the most important markets in the world. "One of Canada's strengths is the country's advanced and prudent financial regulatory system. With such a network in place, I am confident in the growth opportunities for our Canadian subsidiary in the years to come," he told Xinhua.
The launch of ICBC (Canada) marks the beginning of the expansion of the Bank Group's branch network in Canada. The bank will capitalize on the group's cutting edge information technology platform to bring its new online banking system to Canadian customers.
As well, the bank will work with the Bank Group's networks worldwide, including those in China, to offer a one-stop shop for multinational financial services to clients in both China and Canada, Jiang said.
Established in 1984, ICBC has become the largest commercial bank in the world in terms of market capitalization, profitability, client deposits and brand value.
In recent years, it has actively pursued an international operational strategy through organic growth as well as mergers and acquisitions. As of today, ICBC has set up 175 foreign branches in 22 countries and regions.