Dutch bank, ING has announced it is considering opening a new digital bank in China through a partnership with the Bank of Beijing. The announcement which came during an investors call, made sure to stress that it is still very much early days, and decisions around the business case and ownership have yet to be reached. But nonetheless, the new digital bank would mark a significant move by ING to crack the Chinese market.
Commenting on the news, ING CEO Ralph Hamers said,
“There’s thousands of fintechs that are actually disrupting the banking scene. And they come with new technology, they come with new client experiences, and they truly try and get between us and the customer….. there are a lot of things we can learn from them, and therefore we have to look closely at them, how we can work together.”
While any move by ING in China will be hotly contested by traditional financial institutions and alternative financial service providers like Alibaba and Tencent, it shows the promise that the Chinese market holds that providers like ING are willing to make significant investments to capture a small part of the market.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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