Overall best national retail bank 2020
China Construction Bank
China’s urban population is among the most tech-savvy in the world, yet members of its rural population often have much more basic needs. China Construction Bank, more than any other bank in China, has been able to serve both populations.
The bank set technology innovation, financial inclusion and mortgage lending as the three main pillars for its 2019 strategy. CCB, under vice-chair Zhang Jianguo, has made steady progress in all three, while being the top earner among the big four Chinese banks in the retail banking segment.
Pre-tax profit from CCB’s retail banking division reached Rmb85.9 billion ($12.2 billion) for the first six months of 2019, the most recent period for which public data is available. That represents a 6.4% increase year on year, meaning the bank has both the largest retail profits and the fastest profit growth among the big four state-owned banks.
CCB maintained its leading position in the consumer loan sector. The bank’s Quick Loan online borrowing platform now has more than 10 million customers.
CCB ranked top in domestic personal lending at the end of June 2019. Its outstanding personal loans grew 5% from the end of 2018, reaching Rmb6.13 trillion.
As one of the big four state-owned commercial banks, CCB also heeded the call to provide support to China’s lower-income individuals. By June 2019, the bank had a total of 224,000 Yunongtong service outlets – a fintech-based, county-level platform designed to serve rural customers with services including investment, loan and insurance.
In the first half of 2019, financial inclusion loans increased by Rmb221 billion to Rmb831 billion and the number of borrowers increased by 207,900 to approximately 1.23 million.
The bank also showed fast growth in mobile payments. Long E Pay is CCB’s version of WeChat Pay. The app offers payment solutions for goods and services ranging from restaurants and supermarkets to train tickets and healthcare expenses. Last June, the number of merchants using the service reached 2.46 million, an increase of 41% year on year.
At the same time, the number of CCB’s retail banking mobile and online users rose to 329 million and 17.3 million respectively, up 6.4% and 5.7% from the end of 2018.
CCB is also the go-to bank for residential mortgages. Its outstanding residential mortgages increased by Rmb302 billion from the end of 2018, reaching Rmb5.06 trillion by June last year. CCB offered Rmb115 billion of personal indemnification housing loans to nearly 600,000 low-income households in the first half of 2019.