Taiwan's best domestic bank 2017: CTBC Bank
CTBC Bank is a worthy winner of this award. The Taipei-based lender is still finding its feet in the region through its subsidiaries in Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan and a growing network of branches spanning 10 Asian cities. In March, its parent, CTBC Financial Holding, bought a 35.6% stake in Bangkok-based LH Financial Group, paying Bt16.6 billion ($480 million) and marking the first big investment in Thailand by a Taiwan lender.
But it is in its home market that CTBC, under chairman Chao Chin Tung, really shines. It is the island’s most valuable lender. In 2016, it reported pre-tax earnings of NT$28.9 billion ($959 million) on net revenues of NT$87.9 billion, while consolidated pre-tax return on equity hit 11.89%.
CTBC is also big where it matters: it boasts more ATMs than any of its peers, and has more mobile and internet banking users; and in a market where prime investment banking transactions are fought over tooth and nail – unsurprising, given that the island boasts 39 full-service commercial banks – CTBC regularly leads its peers in M&A and equity capital markets rankings.
It is also something of a rarity in Taiwan: a bank prepared to think innovatively and with care as it searches for new ways to serve its corporate and retail customers. It launched a new digital bank in 2016, as well as unveiling an innovation lab that targets new blockchain inventions.