Banking on technology

Chinese financial institutions do not want to be caught short when technologically advanced foreign banks begin moving in on their business.

With WTO accession fast approaching, many sectors of the Chinese economy are bracing themselves for global competition. The banking sector is one area undergoing rapid modernization as executives try to implement better risk management and other global best practices. IT budgets are also being increased and priority given to technology initiatives.

In general today, foreign banks are only permitted to engage in wholesale business, offering foreign currency products to foreign or foreign-invested enterprises, although there has been some scope for offering renminbi services to these companies. Under the WTO agreement, China will allow foreign banks to handle all foreign currency transactions for foreign clients and local businesses and individuals. They will also be able...

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