Standard Chartered Bank has become the first foreign bank to be granted a domestic fund custody license by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
With the license, Standard Chartered China will be able to directly participate in and provide custody-related services to investment products offered by domestic funds and asset managers in China.
China is the third largest equity and bond market in the world, Standard Chartered said, with total market size close to $20trn.
Bill Winters, Standard Chartered chief executive, said: “China is of strategic importance to Standard Chartered. We are honoured to be the first international bank to be granted this license, which coincides with the bank celebrating its uninterrupted operations in China for the past 160 years.”
“With the inclusion of Chinese shares by major world indices, China is already being recognised as a major financial market. We are excited to be part of this process as we work closely to support our clients in their custody needs,” he added.
The move also represents another significant move from China to open up its markets to the world following landmarks move to open up its bond and equities markets along with the inclusion of its A-Shares in the MSCI emerging markets Index.
Under new market opening measures implemented since 2016, at least a dozen of the world’s 50 largest non-Chinese fund managers have established wholly-owned units on the mainland.
Standard Chartered was among the first batch of foreign banks to be locally incorporated in China, the third largest equity and bond market in the world, in 2007.
The announcement comes in line with Standard Chartered celebrating 160 years of operating in China.