OCBC merges two banking units in China

OCBC Bank has merged its two banking units in China - OCBC Bank (China) and Wing Hang Bank (China) - to become OCBC Wing Hang Bank (China).

OCBC Wing Hang China, which has its headquarters in Shanghai, has a registered capital of five billion yuan (S$1 billion).

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong, which is 100 per cent owned by OCBC Bank.

OCBC Wing Hang China employs more than 1,500 people at its 32 branches and sub-branches across 14 cities in China.

"The establishment of OCBC Wing Hang China empowers OCBC Bank to effectively drive its Greater China strategy across the key markets of China, Hong Kong and Macau - under one single platform and a unified brand name of OCBC Wing Hang," OCBC said in a statement yesterday.

SINGLE PLATFORM

The establishment of OCBC Wing Hang China empowers OCBC Bank to effectively drive its Greater China strategy across the key markets of China, Hong Kong and Macau - under one single platform and a unified brand name of OCBC Wing Hang.

OCBC BANK

It added: "With the merger, OCBC Bank has also complied with China's single presence policy for foreign banks."

The Greater China region is one of OCBC's core markets, given China's rising economic prominence, the bank noted.

Hong Kong, by virtue of its proximity and economic ties, serves as a significant gateway for OCBC to China.

"The consolidated OCBC Wing Hang platform is well positioned to serve the needs of clients across the Greater China region as well as their cross-border needs extending to South-east Asia where OCBC Bank has a long-established presence," OCBC added.

OCBC Bank first established a presence in China in 1925 with the opening of its Xiamen branch.

It has been operating without interruption in China for more than 90 years.

OCBC Bank incorporated OCBC Bank (China), headquartered in Shanghai, in August 2007.

It then acquired Wing Hang Bank in July 2014.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, it was rebranded OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong and Macau and became a wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2016, with the headline 'OCBC merges two banking units in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe