The Reserve Bank has registered Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd to provide banking services in New Zealand.
It’s incorporated in China and will operate in New Zealand as a branch.
ICBC was the first Chinese bank to register an operation here, in 2013, but did so through a New Zealand subsidiary, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (NZ) Ltd.
The Reserve Bank expects ICBC to conduct business here through both branch & subsidiary, consistent with the Reserve Bank’s dual registration policy, although there are limits on the nature & amount of business conducted through the branch.
The Reserve Bank expects the branch to expand & complement banking services which the subsidiary provides here, including facilitation of wholesale banking services.
There are now 27 registered banks in New Zealand.
The Chinese Government owns 68.11% of ICBC, which is listed on the Hong Kong & Shanghai stock exchanges.
Directors of the existing subsidiary business in New Zealand include former National Party & Act Party leader & Reserve Bank governor Don Brash, who chairs it, and 2 local independent directors, John Dalzell & Martin Philipsen.
Mr Dalzell has been managing director of his own Auckland-based business, Silk Road Management Ltd, since 2016, after a year as interim chief executive of Auckland Council company Panuku Development Auckland & 5 years as chief executive of predecessor Waterfront Auckland.
Mr Philipsen, also of Auckland, has been chief executive & a director of Fundit Holdings Ltd since 2013 after 13 years as the Bank of NZ’s chief financial & risk officer, 3 years in an international role for BNZ’s parent, the National Australia Bank, and a short stint as chief executive of the NZ Bankers Association.
Fundit had a mortgage auction website (www.fundit.co.nz), a domain name which is itself now on the market.
The NZ subsidiary’s chief executive, Qian (Karen) Hou, who’s occupied a long line of international posts in her 29 years with the bank, is the sole executive director. ICBC’s Sydney general manager, Hongbin Liu, and Beijing-based senior specialist Mei Tao are non-executive directors.
The ICBC NZ subsidiary’s annual accounts to December 2019 show it entered 2020 with total assets of $2.28 billion, total liabilities of $2.025 billion, and individually impaired assets much reduced to $8.49 million from $35.4 million in 2018. Its equity level has risen from $54.3 million at the end of 2015 to $257 million at the end of 2019.
It reported net profit after tax of $22.97 million, up from $7.37 million in 2018 and losses of $1.2 million & $2.97 million in 2 of the previous 3 years.
Link: Register of banks
21 December 2017: China Construction Bank registers second NZ entity
20 November 2013: Chinese bank registers NZ subsidiary
Attribution: Reserve Bank release, Companies Office.