China Citic, Baidu Launch Direct Bank in Fintech Push

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China Citic Bank Corp and online search engine huge Baidu Inc released on Saturday a direct banking joint venture, called AiBank, to capitalise on China’s quickly growing fintech sector.AiBank is one among a number of tie-ups in between a web firm and a loan provider in China’s thriving online financing market where innovation gurus like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd have currently established their own financing arms to offer a range of monetary items including payment, wealth management and micro loans.A direct bank provides services over the web instead of through physical branches.AiBank will focus

on providing to people and small companies while leveraging big data and expert system to construct new threat control models, Li Rudong, president of the new bank stated at a launch event in Beijing.Li said 60 percent of the new bank’s workers will be technology staff.” AiBank is the future of smart finance … It is an institution

that understands customers best and understands financing best, “stated Baidu Chief Operating Officer Lu Qi.Mid-tier loan provider Citic Bank owns 70 percent of the joint venture, while Baidu manages the remaining 30 percent. The direct bank has an authorized capital of 2 billion yuan.China’s banking regulator approved the facility of AiBank earlier this year.(Reporting by Shu Zhang and Elias Glenn; Editing

by Muralikumar Anantharaman )