Banking on China

The question of branch vs subsidiary has been a live issue in London for some time with Indian and Chinese banks refused parity with earlier American entrants meaning they had to carry more expensive regulatory capital increasing the cost of doing business.

Add to this periodic banking levies as penance for past bad behaviour they had never participated in, and onerous liquidity rules, compelling the holding of government stocks and it can readily be seen how the warm glow from the initial red carpet treatment on arrival was rapidly cooling.

The impact of the lack of branch status where reliance is placed on the capital of the parent institution was enough to tip some banks into Luxembourg and was a driver for some to look at Jersey. This driver has gone but there are still many more reasons why these banks ought to consider Jersey as a booking centre. These include: tax neutrality, specialised private banking capabilities, capital raising, real estate funds and cross border activity, including treasury and the pooling of funds, as well as syndicated lending.

Chancellor Osborne has certainly gone to Beijing bearing gifts; immigration relaxation yesterday, bank licensing relaxation today, what will he give tomorrow?

But it isn't all one way despite the curmudgeonly BBC portrayal of the delegation last night as Johnny come latelies. London is rapidly becoming the largest RMB hub outside of Asia and the announcement of Chinese investment into Manchester Airport City with a price tag of £800m is fantastic news for the North West of England.

There is great opportunity in trading with the economic leviathan that is China and sustained relationship building and commitment does eventually bring returns.

 "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop".

Confucius

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