China Everbright Bank Opens Wealth Management Unit in Qingdao
China Everbright Bank became the first joint-stock bank to set up a unit to manage wealth management products (WMPs), following the five biggest state-owned banks.
Unlike its state-owned peers which established WMP units in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Everbright Wealth Management Co. Ltd. is headquartered in Qingdao, a second-tier coastal city in eastern Shandong province.
One reason the company chose Qingdao is a series of themed WMPs it plans to launch related to a demonstration area under construction in the city. The demonstration area, part of the Chinese government’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, is home to 17 collaborative projects with total investment of 13 billion yuan ($1.8 billion), according to the Qingdao government.
In addition to the normal divisions similar to those created by its state-owned rivals, Everbright Wealth Management set up a fintech department, highlighting the company’s focus on building “a world-leading WMP technology platform,” the company said.
Everbright Wealth Management Chairman Zhang Xuyang joined the company from Baidu’s fintech spin-off, Du Xiaoman Financial. Before joining Baidu, Zhang was general man¬ager of China Ever¬bright Bank’s asset management department. There are some uncertainties about Everbright Wealth Management’s future business development, but one thing is certain, Zhang said, “We want to take the main path of technology development” in the next decade, he said.
Another WMP Everbright plans to launch is retirement themed products. As China’s population is rapidly aging, “we strive to provide better security for investors’ senior life through our retirement themed products,” said Li Ming, a vice general manager of Everbright Wealth Management.
Everbright said it also plans to launch social responsibility-themed products, another popular sector pursued by many WMP companies. Funds raised from such WMPs are usually invested in environmental projects.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has so far approved 12 banks to set up WMP units. The five big state-owned banks ― Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China – have all opened WMP units and launched products.
Two other national joint-stock banks, China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank, and two city commercial banks, Bank of Hangzhou and Bank of Ningbo, have also received approvals.
Contact reporter Denise Jia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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