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ICBC Escalates Services for Customers around the World
 
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In recent years, ICBC strides boldly on a world stage to cope with the increasing demand of global financial services from Chinese companies and individuals. With the improving competitive edge of the overseas subsidiaries, ICBC escalates its overseas development in terms of scale, quality and efficiency, making significant progress in serving the customers around the world. At the end of 2012, ICBC has nearly 400 overseas branches in 39 countries/territories. Being the largest shareholder of the Standard Bank of South Africa (a major bank in Africa) to build a presence in the financial markets of 18 African countries, ICBC has set up a large global service network. The network of 1,630 foreign correspondent banks in 138 countries/territories is an important complement to ICBC's overseas branch network.

While gaining a global footprint, ICBC remains committed to serving Chinese companies to "go global" by closely following China's agenda in trades and investments with countries around the world. At present, trade volume between areas covered by ICBC overseas branches and China accounts for over 70% of China's total foreign trade volume. Since 2012, ICBC makes a new move to ramp up its network of overseas branches. In Europe, with the opening of Warsaw Branch, ICBC has branches in 11 countries offering financial services to customers in Europe. In Latin America, ICBC has branches in three major countries: Peru, Brazil and Argentina. In the Middle East, the regulatory authorities of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have approved ICBC to set up Riyadh Branch and Kuwait Branch, adding more branches in the Gulf Region. ICBC also seeks new approaches. The acquisition of 80% stake in Bank of East Asia (USA) represented the first acquisition of a commercial bank in USA by a Chinese bank. The acquisition of 80% stake in Standard Bank Argentina made ICBC the first Chinese bank to acquire a mainstream commercial bank outside China. Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a full banking licence to ICBC Singapore Branch. On February 8 this year, the People's Bank of China chose ICBC Singapore as the RMB clearing bank in Singapore.

ICBC branches outside China make continuous improvement while expanding the overseas service network. At the end of 2012, total assets of ICBC overseas branches reached some USD 170 billion (excluding Standard Bank of South Africa), a growth of over 30% on a yearly basis. The growth of assets and profits in ICBC overseas branches was faster than the average growth of international banks, and significantly higher than their domestic counterparts. ICBC's globalization plays an important role in securing steady profit, risk diversification and strategy synergy. Meanwhile, ICBC Asia, ICBC Macau, ICBC Argentina and Vientiane Branch become local mainstream banks. ICBC Asia, ranking fifth in Hong Kong, is one of the banks in Hong Kong in recent years with the fastest profit growth. ICBC Macau's asset scale and profitability doubled in three years, becoming the second largest bank and the largest locally-incorporated bank in Macau. In terms of asset scale, ICBC Argentina ranks No. 12 in Argentina. Vientiane Branch is the largest foreign bank in Laos only after a year of operation, and it is also the only RMB clearing bank in Laos designated by the Bank of the Lao PDR.

In terms of business, in 2012 ICBC increased its product offering to deliver more financial services. In retail banking, ICBC has more than 1.6 million personal customers outside China, a 196% increase from a year earlier. In electronic banking, 26 overseas branches have launched internet banking, and telephone banking is available in 14 overseas branches. In bank card business, 21 overseas branches issued bank cards to a total of 500,000. Total amount which has been spent using ICBC cards stood at RMB 2.5 billion. In global cash management, ICBC has a base of 3,000+ customers who opened more than 7,800 accounts. Cash management platforms have been set up in Europe, America and the Asia- Pacific region. In trade finance service, ICBC's international settlements registered robust growth to 30% year-on-year, to the tune of nearly USD 2 trillion by ICBC domestic and overseas branches. Meanwhile, major breakthrough has been made in cross-border RMB business, marked by a growth of nearly 70% in business turnover when compared to the same period last year, and by a clearing network covering nearly 70 countries/territories. Cross-border RMB service is available in all ICBC overseas branches which have got relevant approval from local regulatory authority.


(2013-02-21)
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