United States financial giant Citibank has become the latest foreign bank licensed to provide online services in China. It said yesterday that it would be the first foreign bank in China to launch online services for both corporate and individual customers at the same time. Other foreign banks had begun offering the services to retail customers and planned to expand to include corporate clients. Citibank's China spokesman Grace Guo said the bank already had the services in place to provide electronic banking to corporate customers. Citibank clients will be able to carry out Internet banking transactions such as money transfers, cash management, and other personalised banking services. Ms Guo said online banking would boost the mainland business of foreign banks, which had limited branch networks. Citibank has four branches in China, while HSBC, which has the largest foreign presence, has 11. This pales in comparison with the 100,000 branches of just the big four state banks. Other foreign banks approved to offer online services include HSBC Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of East Asia. Dan Dan Chang, a spokesman for HSBC, which launched personal online banking in China last month, said its corporate services would probably be launched later this year because 'we want to be the best, not necessarily the first'. 'Unlike electronic personal banking which requires simpler operations, electronic corporate banking in China demands a more sophisticated system involving trade and capital fund flows of a bigger amount. Safety of the services has to be guaranteed,' Ms Chang said.