- Emilio Botín and the chairman of Bank of Shanghai meet to review progress in their alliance.
- The two banks sign a cooperation agreement for universities, to encourage International mobility. Six of China’s most prestigious universities will take part.
- Botín holds talks with Chinese political leaders, universities and Santander’s main clients in the country.
Madrid, 17-4-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Banco Santander’s chairman Emilio Botín met the chairman of Bank of Shanghai (BoS), Fan Yifei, today, while on a visit to China, to review progress in the cooperation agreement the two banks signed last December when Santander acquired an 8% stake in BoS. At the meeting, at Bank of Shanghai’s offices, the chairman of Santander stressed the bank’s interest in China, where it has several agreements to develop consumer finance and investment banking businesses.
“Although our presence in Asia is less significant than in other parts of the world, I am convinced that China will play a major role in our international strategy,” Botín said.
The agreement between Santander and BoS has started to come into effect and, as planned, the bank is forming a team of professionals to work with BoS and share Santander’s experience in risk management and retail banking, Botín explained. “Some of the characteristics of the Chinese market are similar to those Santander has found in other where it operates. I am sure our experience will be very useful for BoS,” Santander’s chairman said. The two banks are already working together on questions of risk and looking at ways of providing financing in dollars and renminbi to take advantage of their strong retail networks, Botín said. They have a working group analysing the business areas in which cooperation could generate value for both banks.
Support for the main Chinese universities
The agreement between the two banks also covers universities, through Santander’s global Universities division. Emilio Botín and Fan Yfei signed a joint collaboration agreement this morning, which includes international mobility scholarships for students, a training programme to improve the quality of teaching and other initiatives to improve services for university staff and students.
Seven Chinese universities will be involved: Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong, Zhejiang University, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai Finance and Economy University, CEIBS and Peking University. Initially they will work with another seven that are already part of the Santander Universities network: the University of Pennsylvania, Sao Paulo University, the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Frankfurt University, the Tecnológico in Monterrey, Buenos Aires University and City University London-Cass Business School.
Santander’s chairman signed a collaboration agreement with ShanghaiTech University, which prepares the ground for the creation of an institute for young researchers specialising in computing and new technology, in partnership with Brown University. The agreement also involves a programme of scholarships for young teachers and researchers and a Spanish language learning programme. Santander has been building up its collaboration with the most prestigious Chinese universities since 2006, helping them become more international and linking them with universities in other countries and regions, including Latin America.
Emilio Botín also met political leaders and some of the bank’s biggest customers during his visit. Santander has a representative office in Beijing and branches in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The latter is the only branch of a Spanish or Latin American bank in China and it has had a licence to deal in renminbi since 2012.
Santander currently has consumer finance and investment banking operations in China, through which it is gaining experience of the country’s economy and financial system. In January 2013 it announced a joint venture with the Chinese car manufacturer Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), called Fortune Auto Finance, which is the first multi-brand car finance company in China and is 50% owned by Santander Consumer Finance. In May last year, Santander received clearance from the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commision to buy 20% of Bank of Beijing Consumer Finance Company. The wholesale banking business centres around providing trade finance to take advantage of the substantial trade flows between China and the Latin American countries where the bank is present.