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Awards for Excellence 2015: Best emerging markets bank

ICBC’s sheer scale in its domestic markets makes it a competitor to fear. But the Chinese bank’s management, strategy and intelligent approach to overseas expansion mark it out as a global bank of the future.

Best emerging markets bank:



Also shortlisted:

View more 2015 awards

A flurry of under-appreciated financial reforms in China has forced large banks to shift their business models in a fight for profitability and to ensure the future of the universal-banking franchises amid disruption threats.

Financial disintermediation, stronger bank and non-bank competition, rising NPLs and partial interest-rate liberalization are challenging traditional business models. What’s more, banks have less pricing flexibility over loans and deposits with a greater role for market forces. 

Over the last few years, ICBC has earned the unique distinction of being the brokers’ consensus banking pick in China, thanks to its efforts to diversify fee income by developing asset management, investment banking and consumer finance. In addition, it has been an industry leader in digital banking, wholesale finance and risk management.

Much of its successful transformation can be attributed to long-standing chairman, Jiang Jianqing – who wins Euromoney’s outstanding contribution to global financial services award this year.

As a state-backed institution benefiting from funding and market advantages, key indicators of ICBC’s financial health – from its market-leading tier-1 capital, to operating income and deposits – have been largely taken for granted by analysts and investors.