Taiwan's best international bank 2017: Citi
No foreign bank comes close to competing with Citi for this award. The US lender comes top regularly on every conceivable metric.
Scale? Tick – Citi, under country head Paulus Mok, boasts 56 branches dotted across the island, with a staff of 4,000. Credit cards? Another big tick, given Citi’s continued bragging rights as the leading onshore credit-card issuer, with the highest activation rate and per-card spending rate. What about wealth management? Tick again. Citi introduced the concept to the island, and remains one of the leaders.
It is well capitalized – recording returns on assets and equity of 1.27% and 10.57% respectively in 2016 – as well as profitable, reporting earnings before interest and taxes last year of $311 million. Its operational remit stretches across the financial sector, from cash management to trade finance, and treasury services to investment banking.
The latter forms another rich seam of revenues for Citi. It is a leader in the local debt markets, having helped seven global lenders and corporates to issue dollar-denominated formosa prints since the start of 2016.
When any corporate or investor is mulling a large acquisition on Taiwan’s shores, Citi is usually one of the first financial institutions to receive a phone call. The bank advised on four big M&A deals in 2016 and guided Advanced Semiconductor Engineering through its $3.3 billion merger with Siliconware Precision.