Korea Exchange Bank opens Branch in Richmond, British Columbia
In October 2014, the Korea Exchange Bank of Canada announced the opening of its fourth British Columbia branch, located in the city of Richmond.
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B.C. offers a strong international financial services sector. With proximity to the United States and Asian markets, the province’s financial services sector benefits from Canada’s resilient and well-regulated financial system, and offers expertise in commodities and global trade finance, as well as asset and wealth management services.
With highly favourable tax treatment, more than 100,000 finance professionals, and a multilingual labour force, B.C. is a location of choice for leading financial institutions. HSBC Bank, J.P. Morgan, Agricultural Bank of China and State Bank of India also have operations in the province.
The Richmond branch is the Korea Exchange Bank’s (KEB’s) fourth location in British Columbia and is strategically located to help expand the bank’s client base to include local Chinese-Canadians. Richmond has the one of the highest immigrant populations in Canada, with 50 per cent of its residents identifying as Chinese. The branch’s 10 employees were all hired locally, and the bank will offer financial products and services tailored to the needs of Chinese-Canadians.
At the branch’s official opening in October 2014, KEB President Kim Han-jo said, “The opening of the Vancouver Richmond Branch of Korea Exchange Bank of Canada will strengthen the position of KEB as a global business leader and provide essential momentum toward further expanding our business base to include other local customers.”
A key driver behind the bank’s decision to open a new branch in B.C. was the work done by the province’s Trade and Investment Representative (TIR) in South Korea, and by AdvantageBC, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the province as a destination for investment. The TIR and representatives of Advantage BC paid a visit to KEB headquarters in Seoul in 2013 to promote British Columbia as a location of choice and to introduce the bank to the province’s International Business Activity (IBA) program, which offers offers tax incentives to eligible international businesses wishing to do business in the province.
By locating an international business in British Columbia and registering in the province's IBA program, participants, including foreign banks operating in Canada, can receive up to a full refund on provincial income taxes for a range of qualifying business activities including financial investments, administrative support functions, financial advice and research, foreign exchange, leasing, factoring receivables and more, incurring only the federal corporate income tax. Although KEB had already opened branches in B.C., they’d been unaware of the IBA program. Learning about the benefits of the program was an additional incentive for KEB to expand operations in the province.
With 11 Trade and Investment Representative offices worldwide, the Ministry of International Trade helps international businesses like KEB discover the benefits of British Columbia as a destination for investment, a partner for trade and innovation, and a source of quality goods, services and resources. The ministry also helps British Columbia businesses contact potential buyers, investors, and other key partners in global markets. Contact the MIT team today.