OCBC has opened a sub-branch office at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (SFTZ), an area earmarked as a test bed for the mainland's economic and financial reforms.

The SFTZ sub-branch will provide financial solutions including cross-border settlement and financing. Clients will have access to account servicing, hedging solutions, global investment and structured products, among other things.

The bank's Jiading sub-branch has also relocated to the new office.

The bank set up its China headquarters in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai in September last year, operating under wholly-owned subsidiary OCBC China. OCBC's network in China includes 16 branches and sub- branches across nine cities.

OCBC China's full-year revenue in 2013 reached 748 million yuan (S$150 million). Total assets, as at end of last year, were 58.9 billion yuan.

The SFTZ was officially launched in September last year. It includes the special customs zones of the Yangshan Deep Water Port, Pudong Airport and Waigaoqiao Port.

Through the SFTZ, the Chinese government aims to encourage regional HQ set-ups, including regional treasury centres and shared service centres by simplifying yuan cross-border settlement procedures and relaxing approval processes for investment.

Since the SFTZ's opening, 17,000 new firms have set up shop, of which 58 per cent are trading companies, 32 per cent are service providers and the rest are financial institutions.