Chinese owned private bank set up in Tanzania

China Commercial Bank (CCBank), the first private African bank owned by Chinese investors, is set to launch trial operations this week in Tanzania after two years of preparatory work.

Although its name sounds like an established bank in China, CCBank was founded in Tanzania and majority of its core employees are Tanzanians, with a Chinese CEO, Yan Gang, who relocated to Dar es Salaam from Canada two years ago.

After being sought by the bank’s shareholders, Yan who was working for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of the top banks in Canada, agreed to start the process of setting up the bank from scratch.

The preparatory work involved finding the ideal location, recruiting competent staff and acquiring the right technological infrastructure.

“Founding a bank in Tanzania required a fairly large amount of imports, from technology to hardware,” he told Xinhua, adding that “small items such as printers and big ones like the ATM machines all came from abroad.”

He said all data equipment which had to meet international standards, was specially designed to suit the bank’s needs and was manufactured by Huawei in China.

The toughest part, Yan avows, was creating a banking system. “All big foreign banks here kept their existing systems when they reached Tanzania, and they transferred data abroad through the Internet.

But for my team, we did not have that privilege; we had to hire a service provider to build a new system,” the CCBank CEO said.

Yan said he decided to pick the best international service provider because, according to him, “the system and the provider’s services must be good enough to support CCBank’s long-term development.”
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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