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Bank of China gets approval to open branch in Switzerland 

Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has allowed one of the largest state-owned commercial banks of China to open a subsidiary in Geneva.  

Geneva Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Bank of China announced on Monday that it had received the greenlight after completing the registration process in June. 

The Chinese financial institution said it wants to “build a bridge for Sino-Swiss trade and investment and play a bridging role in promoting economic, commercial and financial exchanges.” 

Re-designated as a global systemically important bank in 2018, Bank of China employs nearly 300,000 people. It has a service network in mainland China as well as in 57 countries and regions around the world. 

At the end of the first quarter, the bank managed to increase its net profit by 2.7% to 53.99 billion yuan (CHF7.64 billion). 

In its statement, the bank evoked the history of Sino-Swiss relations.  

 “Switzerland is one of the first Western countries to have established diplomatic relations with China and the first European country to have signed a free trade agreement” with Beijing. 

Switzerland is China’s seventh largest trading partner in Europe. China is Switzerland’s third most important trading partner, after Germany and the United States. 

In March, Bern unveiled its first ever foreign policy strategy in relation to the emerging global power. China’s human rights record is an area of concern for both the Swiss government and NGOs. 

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR