(Yicai Global) April 18 -- China Construction Bank Corp. has become the country’s first state-owned lender to open a fintech unit, marking its entry into the competitive internet finance sector.
Beijing-based CCB has set up Jianxin Financial Technology Co. with registered capital of CNY1.6 billion (USD254.8 million) to provide outreach services for its traditional business unit as well as other subsidiaries, Shanghai Securities News reported. CCB has also transferred nearly 3,000 employees under seven development centers and one research and development center to the new company.
China is home to a booming fintech market, encompassing mobile payments, online lending, consumer finance, online money-market funds, online insurance, personal financial management, and online brokerage. Nine of the world’s 27 fintech unicorns are Chinese, of which Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s affiliate Ant Financial Services Group is the biggest globally with an estimated value of USD60 billion.
To address the intense cross-industry competition with internet finance companies, the bank launched a fintech strategy last year and formulated a reform plan for its technology systems to suit its current governance structure, said Zhu Yuhong, general manager of CCB’s information technology management department. Jianxin Financial’s formation is a significant part of the changes made, he added.
The bank aims to develop a completely market-oriented fintech business to provide leading financial-grade IT services to peers, enterprises and partners, Chairman Tian Guoli said at a presentation on the firm’s annual earnings results late last month.
CCB has accelerated efforts to bring new innovations to the traditional banking sector. Last week, it opened the nation’s first unmanned branch. The Shanghai branch replaces the role of reception manager with a robot and it is equipped with a smart teller machine, a remote video teller, a foreign currency exchange machine, as well as an experience zone for augmented and virtual reality.
Editor: William Clegg