MetroBank, a subsidiary of MetroCorp Bancshares, has entered into an agreement with the Bank of China-Shanghai to conduct Renminbi (RMB) cross border settlement directly with China on trade related businesses.

MetroBank has said that this agreement will help it with new fee income opportunities over time and also allow to expand and build a more diversified customer base.

George Lee, EVC, president and CEO of MetroCorp Bancshares, said: “The recent announcement by China’s central bank that it will allow a more flexible exchange rate for its currency may be the beginning of a pool of opportunities for US banking institutions with a strong international trade platform.

“The agreement signed between MetroBank and Bank of China-Shanghai is the first of its kind in the US, which allows MetroBank of Texas to conduct RMB trade settlement. MetroBank will be able to offer RMB services including letters of credit, stand-by letters of credit, remittance, collections and other RMB related services for our commercial customers.”