Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is set to commence retail and corporate banking operations in Canada under the banner ICBC Canada, as part of its plans to enhance its North American market presence.

ICBC acquired 70% of The Bank of East Asia (Canada) in January 2010. All former BEA (Canada) branches, four in Toronto and two in Vancouver, will be converted to offices of ICBC Canada. The new ICBC Canada will have a client base of around 10,000 retail and corporate customers.

ICBC plans to capitalize on the group’s information technology platform to bring its new online banking system to Canadian customers. As well, ICBC Canada will work with the ICBC’s networks worldwide, including those in China, to offer a one-stop shop for multinational financial services to clients in both China and Canada.

Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the ICBC, said: “One of Canada’s strengths is the country’s advanced and prudent financial regulatory system. With such network in place, I am confident in the growth opportunities for our Canadian subsidiary in the years to come.”