From The Financial Times:
Citibank , Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia are all seeking to follow the lead of HSBC , which in August secured a licence to set up a rural bank branch in the Chinese hinterland.
Allowing foreign banks to offer their services to more than 750m Chinese peasant farmers is part of a grand Communist party political campaign launched last year known as the “Construction of the New Socialist Countryside”. The campaign is intended to revive the rural economy and quell social unrest created by huge wealth disparities between China’s booming eastern cities and far poorer agricultural communities, where a majority of the population still lives. [Full Text]