Rush & Cash making a pioneering dash to China

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Rush & Cash making a pioneering dash to China

For the first time since private lending was legalized a decade ago in Korea, the market leader has been allowed to establish a branch outside the country.

According to industry officials, a consumer financing brand of A&P Financial, Rush & Cash, plans to open its own branch in Tianjin, China, next month.

The company won approval for setting up a local branch from the Tianjin city government in March. It only needs to be granted approval from the Chinese financial supervisory authority to start the operation this week.

“We are awaiting approval to start our operation there after completing all of the preparations,” a company official told the JoongAng Ilbo.

“Rush & Cash has become the first player in the domestic industry to make inroads into overseas markets.”

Rush & Cash originated from A&O International, a subsidiary of a Japanese private lending company that was launched in 1998 in Korea. It has grown to become the nation’s No. 1 private lender after it was acquired in 2004 by Chairman Choi Yoon.

The lender has been making efforts to go abroad for years, the company said.

“In order to serve the national interest, the Korean financial industry needs to start exporting its financial services,” Choi said.

However, Choi failed to take over Takefuji, a Japanese private lender, last year.

In December, Rush & Cash was suspended from operating in Korea as it violated a local law that bans private lenders from imposing interest rates above 39 percent on loans.

The suspension order has been delayed until the court issues a final verdict.

The company’s entry into China has drawn much attention due to the recent expansion of the private lending market there.

By Kim Hye-mi [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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