Hang Seng Bank received approval to conduct RMB banking business in Shenzhen, and HSBC was approved to expand its RMB business to Qingdao, Tianjin and Guangzhou. The new Hang Seng branch was the bank's third mainland branch to get the license after Shanghai and Guangzhou. The bank also plans to open branches in Beijing and Macau, with a subbranch scheduled to open in Shanghai in November. HSBC has been providing RMB banking in Shanghai and Shenzhen since the late 1990s.
As part of its WTO commitments, China will open its banking system fully to foreign competition by the end of 2006.