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Banks launch credit card
( 2004-01-02 23:42) (China Daily)

Efforts enable mainlanders to buy world wide with renminbi

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) and the Bank of Shanghai jointly launched the Shanghai International Credit Card in Shanghai Friday.

The credit card will be issued by the Bank of Shanghai and carry both the logos of HSBC and the Bank of Shanghai, an HSBC spokesperson said.

The credit card enables Chinese mainland customers to make purchases worldwide and settle their payments in renminbi through a Bank of Shanghai account, the spokesperson added.

Holders of the Shanghai International Credit Card will be able to make overseas purchases anywhere in the world where Visa credit cards are accepted.

Cardholders will also be able to enjoy a range of privileged offers from selected merchants in Hong Kong participating in HSBC card campaigns.

"The successful launch of the Shanghai International Credit Card marks a new milestone in our co-operation since HSBC became a shareholder of the Bank of Shanghai in 2001,"  said Dicky Yip, chief executive of China Business at HSBC.

"By tapping the Bank of Shanghai's local operations and HSBC's international expertise, we are able to offer customers value-added banking services,"  Yip said.

Fu Jianhua, president of the Bank of Shanghai, said the jointly presented credit card will bring greater convenience to cardholders traveling overseas, particularly between the two cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

"It will, no doubt, help enhance the economic exchange and integration of Shanghai and Hong Kong,"  Fu said.

On Wednesday, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank said it received approval from the People's Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), and other related institutions to issue a dual currency credit card nationwide in co-operation with Citibank NA, a subsidiary of Citigroup -- the world's largest credit card issuer and financial institution.

The new credit card will be the first to be issued with foreign bank management and technology that can be settled both in renminbi and US dollars.

It will be distributed first in Shanghai and later in China's major metropolitan areas through Shanghai Pudong Development Bank's network of 290 branches spread across the country.

Jin Yun, vice-chairman and president of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, said the launch of the new card is a major step forward in the co-operation between Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Citigroup after their strategic alliance agreement was signed at the end of 2002.

"The issuance of the card reflects both Citigroup's confidence in the market and our focus on bringing the best products and services to our customers in China,' said Richard Stanley, Citigroup country officer with Citigroup China.

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