Each year, over 250,000 immigrants from around the world find their new home in Canada, and approximately 30,000 of them are Chinese. Among these Chinese newcomers, around 2,000 to 3,000 are investor immigrants, bringing abundant financial capital across the ocean. Some financial institutions are quick to respond to this increasingly large pool of resources. The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of them.
To attract business with new immigrants, the BMO has established branches in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and formed a partnership with the Agricultural Bank of China to provide financial services across border. Through this initiative, the BMO aims to foster customer loyalty by servicing Chinese immigrants from both their home country and in Canada.
“A lot of high-net-worth Chinese are looking at diversifying investment, investing in Canada, finding homes for children while studying here and looking for global asset allocation,” says Gina Li, head of personal banking services in Greater China for BMO Financial Group in Beijing.
According to Li, the total number of Chinese with investable assets of over 1.5 million US has reached 960,000 in 2011, and about 60% of them are interested in immigrating to another country. She leads a team that works with local immigration firms and other consulting organizations to host seminars and workshops to enhance prospective immigrants’ knowledge of the Canadian banking and tax systems.
Li also states that many Chinese immigrants and entrepreneurs are not acquainted with establishing a credit history. in order to familiarize these prospective immigrants, Li’s team also works to assist immigrants in building a credit history. They ensure that their investor immigrant clients have local bank accounts and a banker that speaks their language before they land in Canada.
Through this extensive guidance and mentorship, BMO observes the habits and preferences of the Chinese investor immigrants to better their business strategies. From issuing mortgages to informing newcomers where to go for grocery shopping, the financial institution is active in tapping into the community of investor immigrants to generate business opportunities for Canada.
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