Standard Chartered Suspends Acceptance of New Credit Card Applications in China

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Standard Chartered (China) has announced suspension of new credit card operations after first entering the credit market nearly eight years ago.

The bank recently announced that it would temporarily suspend all applications for credit cards starting from 20 February, after first shutting down applications via online channels in January.

Standard Chartered said that the move was part of a “strategic readjustment” of credit card operations, and that existing credit card users would not be affected.

In June 2014 Standard Chartered offered its first credit card products in China, targeting high-end clients. At the time Standard Chartered said that this was a “strategic move with major significance for our bank in the Chinese market.”

Credit card analyst Dong Zheng (董峥) said to state-owned media that Standard Chartered’s suspension of credit operations is likely to the result of two major factors that are issues in general for foreign banks in China.

These include insufficient localisation and adjustment to Chinese consumer preferences, as well as a heavy focus on high-end clients who remain only a small market segment.