Balancing international and local banking in the Chinese market

VIDEO | “China does not need much of an introduction.” says Damian Glendinning, Chairman of the Advisory Board at CompleXCountries, as he moderated the engaging panel discussion on Treasury in Emerging Markets: China at Treasury 360° Nordic. The session brought together industry experts to delve into the complexities and opportunities of operating in China amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions and regulatory challenges.

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Panellists Andrea Sottoriva, Group Treasurer at SITA; Michel Verholen, Assistant Treasurer at Zoetis; and Martin Meloun, Senior Director Treasury EMEA, JAPAC, and LATAM at Edwards Lifesciences, shared their insights and experiences. They discussed the strategic importance of China for western companies despite its challenges.

Each panellist highlighted the challenges of navigating China’s regulatory landscape and dealing with Chinese banks, with Andrea Sottoriva noting, “Chinese banks decide the kind of business that they want to deal with. When they decide to work with a corporate, they are quite loyal, overall it is a positive experience”.

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Martin Meloun discussed that it is a must to have a local Chinese bank, but it is not always a positive experience. “In some cases you don’t have an option to chose the banks, you get assigned to a local bank and have to deal with it. But this is not always the case.” Michel Verholen shares that SITA has a totally different approach and that around 98% of their business goes through their international banks, instead of Chinese local banks. “For us it is a positive experience to use international banks in China.”

The session underscored the commitment of western companies to the Chinese market and the ongoing efforts to adapt to its evolving regulatory environment, leaving attendees with valuable takeaways on managing treasury functions in this crucial yet complex market.

• News around Treasury 360° Nordic 2024, on 23 May, is gathered here.
• The conference info site, with detailed agenda, is here.
• For post-event access to recorded sessions, our video list will grow here.
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