Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has announced that it will commence preparation work to establish a new branch in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after receiving approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

The Guangzhou branch will become Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s (ANZ’s) third branch in China and its first to operate in the southern part of mainland China.

ANZ CEO for northeast Asia, Alistair Bulloch has said that the approval represented a significant step in ANZ’s ability to serve a growing number of retail and corporate clients in China.

Mr Bulloch added: We have an aspiration to be a leading foreign bank in China and the establishment of the Guangzhou branch strengthens ANZ’s network in the mainland, and in particular, advances our ability to meet the needs of customers in the Pearl River Delta.