ING and Bank of Beijing are collaborating on plans to set up a joint venture digital bank in China.
Total investment for the JV will be 3 billion yuan ($448 million), in which ING will hold 51% and the Beijing Bank will hold a 49% stake. If approved, it will become China's first commercial lender in which a foreign shareholder has a controlling interest.
For ING, the JV offers an opportunity to channel its digital banking moxy to a tech-happy nation already softened up for the online lifestyle by the likes of Alibaba and Tencent.
It also has a formidable partner in Bank of Beijing, which is the largest city commercial bank in China with over 500 branches across 12 domestic major cities.
The two banks have a long-standing relationship. The Dutch banking firm first acquired a minority interest in the China-based lender in 2005 and is currently the largest shareholder in BoB with a stake of 13%.
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