BayernLB and Standard Chartered have entered into an agreement to help grow the German’s bank presence in Asia.

The co-operation will see Standard Chartered help finance BayernLB’s exporting clients in Asia. This in turn will, the pair hope, attract Mittelstand companies – Germany’s mid-sized corporate exporting base – to expand into Asia.

BayernLB’s side of the agreement will see it lending to clients of Standard Chartered’s going the other way, into the German market. While StanChart is London-based, much of its business is in emerging Asia and Africa.

The move comes as a series of European banks, including RBS, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas, have moved to retrench from Asia amid slowing economic growth in China and the knock-on effects through the rest of the region.

“The agreement covers 23 countries across greater China, Asean, Japan, Australia, India and Pakistan. [It will focus on] international corporates and local German savings banks,” a spokesperson for StanChart tells GTR.

“We are already looking into potential transactions but deals are early stage.”

With rising regulatory costs, banks are increasingly focusing on their core markets. Standard Chartered has struck a number of agreements with development banks this year, including the IFC and the ADB, which it hopes will allow it to continue its strong trade finance record in emerging Asia, amid dwindling competition.


“Via a single point of contact at BayernLB, corporates, SMEs and savings banks will now be able to handle their imports and exports with Asia in a more expedient manner. Thus, we are further strengthening our profile as a Bavarian bank for German businesses operating in global markets,” says BayernLB’s director Michael Bücker.

Standard Chartered’s global head of transaction banking Alex Manson adds: “This partnership will allow us both to increase the scope of cross-border payment services, trade finance and trading operations we provide between Germany and Asia.”