Nigerian, Chinese financial institutions to enhance banking relations: First Bank MD

21:59, November 19, 2009      

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First Bank of Nigeria Plc has expressed the readiness to enhance its banking relations with major Chinese financial institutions, following the approval of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to open a representative office in Beijing.

In July, the bank announced that it secured the approval of the CBRC to open an office in China, having satisfied the official requirements prescribed by the Chinese financial services regulatory body.

Bisi Onasanya, group managing director of First Bank told Xinhua in an interview in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, on Wednesday that the bank recognizes China as the greatest trading partner with Nigeria.

Whichever financial institution that chooses to ignore China's strength, chooses to do that at its own peril, he said, noting that China is the fastest developing economy in the world.

That is the country of the future, he reiterated.

Onasanya said for so many reasons First Bank cannot afford to ignore China, stressing that the bank looks forward to strengthening the existing banking relations with Chinese institutions.

First Bank also has an MoU with China Construction Bank to cover global banking collaboration, he said.

He said the approval of the CBRC is not only an important milestone for the bank, but also signifies a new era for Nigeria-China relations, considering the size of First Bank and the ever-increasing trade flows between both countries.

Established 115 years ago in Nigeria, the bank's increasing globalization saw it set up a branch in London in 1982, which became FBN Bank (UK) Limited, Nigeria's first full-fledged subsidiary bank in the United Kingdom in 2002.

The bank also registered its presence in South Africa in 2004 and opened a branch in Paris in 2008, driving its financial services to other parts of Europe.

Source: Xinhua
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