Awards recognizing the strongest banks in China, as Chinese bankers take leading roles on the global stage.
The Chinese financial services industry has undergone tremendous change in the past decade as its massive banks underwent drastic reforms to become more market-oriented and list on international markets. China offered its banks an ideal environment for these changes.
The economy was booming, foreign investment was restricted, and the central bank’s fixed lending and deposit rates provided comfortable profit margins.
Times are changing. The Chinese economy, although still growing, has slowed from its double-digit pace, while banking reforms have freed up rates to force interest margins down. Foreign banks have fully entered the market, bringing international best practices and multinational experience.
Chinese banks are changing, too. They are greatly expanding their product and service lines and adopting sophisticated risk analysis and Big Data tracking to serve their existing customers more effectively as well as to reach underbanked portions of the population. At the same time, Chinese banks are moving beyond the country’s borders to help local companies realize international ambitions. Big improvements in technology have brought great gains in efficiency and given rise to unconventional competitors such as Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and WeBank.
This new and more challenging operating environment is testing the extent of the country’s ambitious banking reforms and the agility of its financial institutions. Business models and reputations are forming around the products and services in which each bank excels. With these trends in mind, Global Finance’s Stars of China 2016 recognizes the tremendous progress being made and the banks that are pushing the industry to greater heights by offering top-notch service. We honor the institutions that are forging new business models, adapting to changing market and regulatory conditions with speed and efficiency, and demonstrating continued strong commitment to customer service.