China Merchants Bank has opened a branch at 535 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. — the first branch opened by a Chinese banking institution since the adoption of Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991.
CMB New York Branch was opened after less than one year of preparation — U.S. banking regulators approved CMB's establishment of a branch in New York in November 2007. Chinese businesses in the U.S. welcomed the news of CMB's opening. China Ocean Shipping Company Americas, Inc and China International Marine Containers became the first clients of the New York Branch. They said that they had established a good cooperative relationship with CMB in China, and the opening of the New York Branch only helps extend these relationships overseas. Such support and service is much needed by Chinese businesses operating in the US they added.
Weihua Ma, president & CEO of CMB, flew to New York in order to attend the opening ceremony. "The opening of CMB New York Branch marks a new breakthrough for Chinese banks gaining access to U.S. financial markets." Ma Said. "It is yet another milestone of CMB's internationalization. The successful application and opening process of the New York Branch is attributed to the improvement of China's financial regulation, and to the support of the governments and regulators of both countries. The New York Branch will adhere to international standards in bank management, professionalize business operations, and localize its workforce. CMB will gradually expand its business offerings under the precondition of compliance and risk management. CMB will also provide the experience needed for CMB to continue its expansion oversea.â€
CMB has engaged a number of international consulting firms to assist in the design of comprehensive policies and procedures that meet the regulatory standards of both countries. CMB has also introduced a technologically advanced banking system and has hired experienced local professionals, many of whom have previously had held senior or mid-level of positions at major financial institutions in the U.S.
In the midst of financial crisis, with New York City at the center of the storm, the opening of CMB attracted much attention in the U.S. Ma noted that although the financial crisis presents many difficulties and challenges for the New York Branch, the bank was confident in the future of America's economy and its financial industry. Therefore they were confident about the future of the New York Branch.
Hui Fang, General Manager of the New York Branch, said that given today's market environment, the New York Branch will focus on trade services, trade finance, dollar clearing, and commercial credit.