Postal Savings Bank of China Plans to Launch China’s Third Online Direct Bank

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One of China’s big six state-owned lenders has flagged plans to launch what will be the country’s third online direct bank that operates primarily via digital online channels.

Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) announced on 21 December via the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) that it plans to establish PSBC Youhui Wanjia Bank Co., Ltd. (中邮邮惠万家银行有限责任公司) in Shanghai as a fully invested subsidiary with registered capital of 5 billion yuan.

PSBC said that Youhui Wanjia would be part of its in-depth structural reforms and ongoing efforts to explore fintech innovations, and would be an adaption to the prevailing market trend of the digitisation of commercial banking.

“This will be of benefit to raising the service level and service efficiency of PSBC, implementing digital financial inclusion and supporting the growth of the real economy,” said the state-owned lender.

The announcement comes just after e-commerce giant JD.com and China Merchants Bank (CMB) unveiled their own plans to establish a joint-venture direct bank.

CMB announced on 11 December that it had obtained approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to establish Zhaoshang Tapu Bank (招商拓扑银行) – an online direct bank, in Shanghai.

CMB will hold a 70% stake in Zhaoshang Tapu while Wangyin Online – a wholly owned subsidiary of JD.com’s fintech vehicle JDD, will hold a 30% stake.

CBIRC approved the establishment of China’s first direct bank in January 2017 – CITIC aiBank, which was originally a joint venture between Baidu and China CITIC Bank.

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