HOUSTON, June 21, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MetroBank N.A. announced today that it has signed an official agreement with the Bank of China-Shanghai to conduct Renminbi ("RMB") cross border settlement directly with China on trade related businesses.
George M. Lee, Executive Vice Chairman, President and CEO of MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc., the holding company of MetroBank N.A. stated:
The recent announcement by China's central bank that it will allow a more flexible exchange rate for its currency may be the beginning of a pool of opportunities for U.S. banking institutions with a strong international trade platform. The agreement signed between MetroBank N.A. and Bank of China-Shanghai is the first of its kind in the U.S., which allows MetroBank N.A. of Texas to conduct RMB trade settlement. MetroBank N.A. will be able to offer RMB services including letters of credit, stand-by letters of credit, remittance, collections and other RMB related services for our commercial customers.The agreement was the result of many months of stringent and cautious due diligence by the officers of both institutions. Needless to say, the fact that MetroBank N.A. is the only Chinese ethnic bank in Texas with a stand alone, dedicated international department providing quality service for over twenty years was crucial to Bank of China-Shanghai's decision. In the midst of economic and regulatory guidance to most community banks to realign loan portfolio concentrations, this agreement will not only help us with new fee income opportunities over time but also allow us to expand and build a more diversified customer base. MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq:MCBI) provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking services through its wholly owned subsidiaries, MetroBank, N.A. and Metro United Bank. The Company has thirteen full-service banking locations in the greater Houston, and Dallas, Texas metropolitan areas, and six full-service banking locations in the greater San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California metropolitan areas. As of March 31, 2010, the Company had consolidated assets of $1.6 billion. For more information, visit the Company's web site at www.metrobank-na.com. The MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=2894
CONTACT: MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc., Houston George M. Lee, Executive Vice Chairman, President and CEO 713-776-3876