Financial services firm BNY Mellon has unveiled plans to expand its operations in China after receiving regulatory approval to set up a bank branch in Beijing.
The firm, which focuses on asset management and securities servicing, has about 150 staff operating in Shanghai and Beijing at present and is planning to add 70 more over the next three years as it looks to build or acquire local capabilities.
The new branch licence in Beijing will enable the bank to provide banking services to institutional clients there, although it does not intend to provide retail banking. BNY Mellon received a licence for its Shanghai branch in 1999.
“We believe China has a very exciting future and we intend to make significant investments in our on-the-ground resources,” said Christopher Sturdy, Asia-Pacific chairman of BNY Mellon.
“Becoming a branch in Beijing is an important step in enhancing our services and achieving our vision to become one of the leading international financial services firms in China.”
Larry Chen, previously BNY Mellon’s chief representative of the Beijing representative office, assumes the role of general manager of the Beijing branch.
“The Chinese authorities have shown they are serious about their goal of turning China into a leading force in the financial markets, approving a raft of measures that give investors more sophisticated investment options earlier this year,” Sturdy added.
“Our commitment and increased investment in China reflects their ambitions. We have the solutions Chinese institutions are looking for to meet their goals of achieving positive returns within a transparent and efficient infrastructure which mitigates risk.”
The Chinese government is eager to turn Shanghai into a leading finance hub by 2020. Recent innovations have seen the introduction of index futures and shorting as well as margin financing.
BNY Mellon notes that investor rationality and regulation capabilities are also being improved to open a new chapter for China’s domestic equity market. These are seen as a major step towards the internationalisation of the country’s financial market.
The US bank opened its first office in mainland China in 1994. Its business was initially focused around treasury, trade and payments services, although this has since evolved to include asset management, custody, fund administration, depositary receipts and foreign exchange.
BNY Mellon is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and had a market capitalisation of US$37.5 billion as at March 31. It has US$22.4 trillion in assets under custody and administration globally and US$1.1 trillion in assets under management.