China Postal Savings Bank (CPSB), the nation's fifth-largest lender, has been approved to set up its first branches and sub-branches in Guangdong Province.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said yesterday it has given the go-ahead for CPSB, which was established in March, to open two branches, 19 second-tier branches and over 1,000 sub-branches in the province.
"This marks the beginnings of the bank's national network," the CBRC said.
Headquartered in Beijing, CPSB has been preparing to open branches and sub-branches in the first half of this year.
"The post offices that deal with savings services will now become commercially managed bank branches," a source who declined to be named told China Daily yesterday.
China Post has 36,000 outlets nationwide, almost 60 percent of them in rural areas, and 270 million account holders.
These offices began offering postal savings in 1986, but with no loan or credit card services.
At the end of last year, postal savings in China amounted to 1.6 trillion yuan ($211 billion) - the highest after the Big Four State-owned commercial banks.
The bank is expected to make more efforts to provide micro loans to rural households and companies.
This is part of China's recent drive to build a new, prosperous countryside.