Fullerton Financial Holdings (FFH), a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, and the Bank of China (BOC) announced on August 18 that they have jointly established Bank of China – Fullerton Community Bank (BOC-Fullerton) in Xiong’An New District in China.

The new company is among the first batch of Investment and Management Community Banks in China.

Both FFH and BOC will inject their existing equity interest in the community banks into BOC-Fullerton.

Previously, FFH has jointly invested in the building of community banks in China with BOC, with the first community bank launched in 2011.

The partnership between both companies leverages on BOC’s branding and capital resources, together with FFH’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and micro-financing business models to produce a truly unique brand of community banks – BOC Fullerton Community Bank (BOCF) which is now China’s largest community bank network.

The community bank is committed to support the causes of China’s “three rural” policy and small micro-enterprises with its unique brand characteristics of its financial products and business model. The bank will also aid the acceleration of the economic development of counties and villages through their digital delivery of products and services through the adoption of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The chairman of FFH, Ernest Wong, touched upon the journey and success of the partnership through a pre-recorded speech at the opening ceremony.

Wong also thanked FFH’s partners and the Chinese regulators for their on-going support.

FFH’s president Yeo Hong Ping noted, “we are very pleased with the performance of BOCF. The business has grown steadily from inception to now, with an estimated 8% market share of the country’s community bank branch network. We are proud to be part of this very meaningful and economically impactful venture in China in support of the underserved customer segments and the alleviation of poverty.”

As of June 2020, the BOCF distribution network comprised 127 community banks with 173 sub-branches and 278 rural financing service outlets, serving customers across 22 provinces nationwide. Its total assets stood at RMB 72.83 billion ($14.36 billion).