China’s banking regulator will put Citigroup on the fast track for approval to issue renminbi-denominated debit cards on the mainland, the South China Morning Post reported. A source familiar with the situation told the newspaper that the move may be intended to signal a positive attitude toward open-market policies following the Strategic Economic Dialog held this month between the two countries. Standard Chartered had previously been expected to become the second foreign bank, after Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia, to be granted a license to issue debit cards. Approval to issue debit cards to mainland customers also enables foreign lenders to transfer money to or from Chinese banks through the mainland’s UnionPay inter-bank transfer system.
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