Overall best regional retail bank 2019
Bank of Ningbo
Bank of Ningbo was incorporated in Ningbo, a port city in east China’s Zhejiang province, in 1997 and operates mainly in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces and in Shanghai.
Ranking sixth in terms of assets at the end of September 2018, Bank of Ningbo is not the largest regional bank in China but it stands out thanks to its robust profit growth and rigorous risk management.
Bank of Ningbo has maintained profitable growth for more than a decade, and despite the slowing Chinese economy, its profits and revenue continue to gather steam. For the first nine months of 2018, its revenue rose 14.1% year on year, to Rmb21.2 billion ($3.2 billion) while its net profit jumped 21.1% to Rmb8.9 billion. In the third quarter of last year alone, its revenue increased 22.6%, while its net profit surged 23.8%.
While outperforming its peers in business growth, Bank of Ningbo managed to lower its non-performing loan ratio to 0.8% by the end of September 2018, down 0.02 percentage points from the start of the year. By contrast, the average NPL ratio of regional banks in China rose by 0.05 percentage points to 1.57% in the same period.
What has enabled the bank to achieve such impressive results is its embrace of financial technology, as well as its innovation in products and services.
In recent years, Bank of Ningbo has applied big data analysis based on data collected from local social security and tax offices to attract potential customers for retail loans and to manage credit risks. It has also launched direct bank services to meet customers’ financing and asset management needs, and offered customized financial service solutions for the micro businesses that abound in the region where it operates.
All this has unleashed the growth potential of its retail banking. In the first three quarters of 2018, Bank of Ningbo’s outstanding retail deposits increased 16.3% while the balance of its retail loans rose 19.3%. Over that period, retail banking contributed some 35% of its net profits, up from roughly 14% in 2013.