(Yicai Global) July 11 -- Britain's departure from the European Union is a challenge and an opportunity for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. [SHA:601398], and ICBC will continue to vigorously participate in business in the UK after Brexit, Han Ruixiang, general manager of ICBC London Branch, said at the CEIBS 3rd Europe Forum 2017.
Although Brexit will lead to some market uncertainty, ICBC has been pursuing a diversified investment strategy, he said. "We have very high expectations of the market and will be actively involved in the UK even after Brexit."
Britain has traditionally had a very mature financial market, including before it became a member of the EU, Han said. As the world's largest offshore financial center, most foreign banks use the UK to service European, African, and Middle Eastern countries and this will not change much after Brexit, he said. Brexit will make investing in Britain easier and more convenient by removing EU regulations.
"Financial centers that promote liquidity attract money," said Han. "Middle Eastern mining companies and African firms will come [to the UK] to seek financing. Thus, Brexit will not have big impact on Chinese banks, and will even have a positive impact on Chinese enterprises."
Foreign investment is often hampered by bureaucracy, and Britain has transparent and open investment regulations, said Han.
Originally established as ICBC's London office, ICBC London Branch obtained a branch license in 2014, and has developed rapidly since.
"We hope to make London a hub for global distribution," said Han. "I think we have built a very good set of corporate governance systems here that can be applied to ICBC outlets in other parts of the world, such as North America, South America and [the rest of] Europe. At the same time, we can become a pioneer in ICBC's global development."