Bank of America is setting its sights on China. After adding both staff and profit in its initial efforts there, it sees more opportunity in the huge Chinese economy than it does in other areas, where it is slashing staff and shuttering branches.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Bank of America is not the only one. JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC, and Citigroup are among the institutions boosting their presence in China, which has become the third largest banking market in the world.
Citigroup has recently won approval from Beijing to become the second foreign bank permitted to issue its credit cards there. HSBC intends to expand its branch network nearly eight times to 800, or else to take a bigger stake in its partner Bank of Communications Co. as soon as loosened regulations allow it to do so. And profit racked up by foreign banks in China over the past 10 years, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has amounted to a significant average of 26%.