China Construction Bank Opens Branch in Switzerland

CCB Switzerland Opening Ceremony

CCB Switzerland Opening Ceremony

The China Construction Bank last night opened its branch in Zurich, the single most important step towards the institution of a renminbi-hub in Switzerland.

The negotiations leading up to yesterday's festivities at Zurich's most luxurious hotel - the Dolder - were long and arduous. After a break of several years, the China Construction Bank (CCB) was the first institute from China to open a branch in Switzerland, according to a report by the Departement for Economics Affairs of the regional goverment.

The Swiss financial market regulator Finma in October awarded the bank a license to open a branch in Switzerland as reported.

Thomas Jordan Praises Renminbi-Hub

Befitting the occasion, yesterday's big opening ceremony attracted a who’s who of the Swiss financial market – with central bank president Thomas Jordan (pictured below) taking the lead.

Thomas Jordan 500

In his speech, Jordan emphasized the importance of the so-called renminbi-hub for the Swiss financial sector. The Chinese central bank – the People's Bank of China – and the Swiss National Bank in November gave the go-ahead for the trade of the Chinese currency through the CCB in Zurich. Swiss business expects a boost for the bilateral trade from the exchange hub.

Cooperation With Swiss Exchange

A long list of the most important Swiss bank managers made yesterday's grand opening of the CCB branch one of the big events for the industry this year: UBS President Axel Weber, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, Vontobel CEO Zeno Staub, HSBC Switzerland boss Franco Morra, Swiss Life President Rolf Dörig and Claude-Alain Margelisch, director of the Swiss Bankers Association.

Urs Rueggsegger, the head of the Swiss stock exchange operator SIX also attended the event. CCB and SIX yesterday signed a letter of intent for a cooperation. The agreement entails the renminbi trade and the clearing business.

Visitors From Beijing

CCB Deputy President Xiusheng Pang (pictured below) and Xu Jinghu, China's ambassador to Switzerland, represented the Chinese side. The CCB management in Switzerland, with CEO David Gong and COO Holger Demuth backed up the delegation representing Beijing.Xiusheng Pang 500


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