Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) has opened its wealth management unit in a bid to tap the $3.1trn wealth management market in the country.

The newly established unit, PSBC Wealth Management, also introduced its initial product portfolio which includes fixed-income product-based investment plans and retirement offerings among others.

According to Caixin, the unit is designed to have a workforce of around 600 and 1,000 people. PSBC Wealth Management is led by Wu Yaodong, who will serve as its chairman.

The PSBC wealth management unit is expected to benefit from the lender’s extensive branch network in China.

The bank operates around 40,000 branches and serves nearly 600 million individual customers.

Before PSBC, the other top five state-owned lenders have already established their wealth management units.

The wealth management arms of China Construction Bank (CCB) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) were first to begin operations in July. Subsequently, they were followed by the Bank of China, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China.

According to Caixin, Chinese lenders have stepped up efforts to set up their wealth management units recently as it allows them to operate with fewer regulatory restrictions on investments using wealth management funds.

Last year, Chinese authorities revised existing regulations to prevent the expansion shadow banking system and reduce associated risks.

In July this year, Bank of Hangzhou, Bank of Ningbo and Huishang Bank secured regulatory nod to open wealth management subsidiaries.