Citibank has won approval to become the first foreign bank in China to offer Internet-based banking services to both corporations and consumers.
HSBC, Bank of East Asia and Hang Seng Bank each won approval earlier this year to offer Web-based banking services to Chinese consumers, but Citi claims to be the first to offer corporate Internet banking.
The US bank is making a Chinese language version of its CitiDirect Online Banking platform available to Chinese companies, offering real-time processing and integration with in-house treasury systems.
The bank has also developed a customised version of its Easy Payments platform, allowing local corporates to make renminbi payment transactions to beneficiaries in over 7000 locations in China.
The bank is also introducing Citibank.com.cn, an Internet banking portal that allows corporations and consumers to manage their accounts online, make online enquiries or transactions, view personalised pages as well as get online tools and real-time global market information.
"Citibank is the leading provider of cash management and trade services in China," says Ivo Distelbrink, head of cash, trade and treasury services for Citibank in China. "Our Internet solutions provide clients with more channels to communicate with us and allows them to benefit from greater control and cost efficiency, which are top of mind for treasurers today."
Citibank in China currently operates four branches – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, a sub-branch in Shanghai Puxi, and two representative offices in Xiamen and Chengdu.