"Part of our strategy is to have a location in each of the key financial centers," said Riggs National Bank executive vice president James McComas last week, describing his institution's plans to open a Hong Kong office.
Disclosure of the Asian facility came six weeks after the opening of a full banking branch in London, the first major overseas office by any area bank, as well as plans to open an Edge Act bank in Miami early next year.
McComas, head of multinational operations for Riggs, said these three offices will provide links to Europe and Africa (through London), Latin America from Miami and all of Asia through Hong Kong, widely considered to be among the world's fastest growing financial centers.
McComas said that most Far East loan syndications come out of Hong Kong and the office there will permit Riggs to lead or participate in such transactions. He added that the goal of Riggs, the area's largest bank with assets of close to $3 billion, is not set up a worldwide program of retail banking but instead to emphasize small trading deals and to emphasize the bank's proximity to government policy-makers in this country.
McComas said that the openng of the Hong Kong office would for the present bring to a close Rigg's internaional expansion. He emphasized that the bank views its main role as that of a regional financial institution rather than a major money center bank. "We're still playing in the regional arena. The three locations are indicative of our strategy," McComas said.