With state funding on the decline, and new technologies and more stringent regulation both increasing, the Indian banking sector is undergoing a significant period of change. New players are entering the market, making it even more difficult for the state-owned banks, which are already struggling with deteriorating asset quality and incoming capital adequacy targets.
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Jiang Jianqing, the chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, explains how the largest bank in the world in capital, profits and assets is dealing with China’s economic slowdown, structural reforms and new privately owned, tech-savvy entrants in the banking sector.
The Indian government may be keen for consolidation in the banking sector – driven by a desire to see the country's lenders figure among the world's largest banks – but internal resistance to such changes, from bank employees and their unions in particular, continue to thwart such activity. On top of this, India's lenders are struggling with non-performing assets, which has proved a blight on their profits over the past 12 months.
China's economic growth is slowing and its banking sector is having to adapt to new policies aimed at bringing the market closer to the final reform of liberalising interest rates. Even the largest banks in the country have had to reconsider their strategies to face this evolving environment. How will they reinvent themselves? Stefania Palma reports.
The problems facing China's small, province-focused banks – the country's economic slowdown, deteriorating asset quality, increasing costs – are much the same as those facing the 'big four'. However, smaller banks are also having to contend with enormous debt problems run up by their provinces. Stefania Palma looks at how two of them – Bank of Nanjing and China Zheshang Bank – are faring.
The Postal Savings Bank of China has already stunned the market with its remarkable ascent since its establishment in 2007. Now, talks of an initial public offering, sustained growth and diversification of its business are making the bank's extraordinary rise even more impressive. Stefania Palma explores these new developments.
Swiss giant UBS tops The Banker's Top 50 Private Banking Brands ranking, with an increase of nearly one-third in its brand valuation in the past year giving it a clear lead over its nearest rival, Deutsche Bank.
Hydrocarbon resources account for more than 90% of exports and more than 50% of gross domestic product in Brunei. But, thanks to the country's historical surpluses and government's spending discipline, it has weathered the storm of falling oil prices relatively well, with local banks remaining in profit and even eyeing growth.
Bitcoin’s blockchain is being hailed as revolutionary. But will the likes of UBS, ING and Nasdaq, who are exploring the potential of the technology, be able to overcome the challenges that remain, not least security and regulatory issues?
Private banking and wealth management can be hugely lucrative, bringing in fees and boosting profits in a way that other areas of banking struggle to match. However, increased regulatory pressures and the emergence of newer, cheaper online competitors are shifting the landscape of the market. Jane Monahan examines an industry at a crossroads.
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