FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Leaders Visit Chinese Banking Officials
Washington, D.C. (Nov. 29, 2004) - An eight-member delegation of community bankers with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the California Independent Bankers (CIB) recently traveled to the People's Republic of China to explore possible new business relationships and establish bank officer exchanges with top-ranking Chinese banking and government officials.
Chinese officials initiated and arranged the visit to China to reciprocate the hospitality ICBA and CIB provided to Chinese banking officials during ICBA's National Convention in San Diego last March.
"We believe our visit achieved its goal of promoting better understanding of each country's banking system," said ICBA Chairman Dale L. Leighty, chairman and president of First National Bank of Las Animas, Colo. "We also hope to set up banker exchanges in the future."
"The rapidly growing $191 billion in annual trade between the United States and China, including $5 billion in agricultural commodities, is creating a whole new world of economic opportunities for community banks," Leighty added. "These opportunities are worth exploring and developing for ICBA member banks and their communities."
Leighty said the ICBA and CIB delegation established personal relationships with various influential Chinese government and banking officials. The delegation, for example, met with the governor of the Peoples Bank of China (China's central bank); the chairman-president of the Bank of China (one of China's largest banks); and the director of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (China's banking regulator). "The contacts we made during our visit will be invaluable to our member banks as trade with China expands in the future," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine.
The ICBA and CIB delegation consisted of Leighty; Fine; David Hayes, president and CEO of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tenn.; Steve Andrews, president and CEO of Bank of Alameda, Calif.; Chris Huang, president and CEO of EverTrust Bank in City of Industry, Calif.; William Lu, a CIB treasurer; Craig Hudson, CIB executive director; and Denyette DePierro, CIB director of bank relations and legislative affairs.