China Construction Bank (CCB), one of the world’s largest banks by market capitalization, made further headway in 2018 in its mission to support the development of the Chinese economy amid an uncertain and volatile environment. By leveraging the capabilities of its workforce and new technologies, CCB continued to focus on serving the needs of the real economy.
The Beijing-headquartered group successfully implemented major strategies last year that involved growing its housing rental operations, expanding its inclusive finance strategy and financial technology (fintech) platforms, supporting supply-side structural reforms, strengthening internal control risk-management measures, and promoting high-quality growth of the bank’s businesses to generate positive economic and social benefits.
Real Estate Solutions
To build up its real estate rental business, CCB set up a housing-service company, Jianxin Housing Services Co. Ltd., and a housing-rental-service platform, which today has more than 10 million online listings and registered users. It continued to develop a rental community called Jian Rong Jia Yuan to explore a new model for the inventory housing business. These initiatives have contributed to the bank establishing a nationwide rental service network that will benefit the bank and its customers over the long term.
The previous year also saw CCB rolling out its inclusive finance strategy that features “mass customer acquisition, accurate profiling, automated approval, intelligent risk control and integrated services.” These efforts helped propel the bank to lead the industry in terms of outstanding loan and incremental loan growth.
Through this strategy, the bank successfully promoted new online financing models, such as an online supply chain, increased its access to small and midsize enterprise (SME) clients through its large corporate clients and introduced 26 targeted measures to support the private economy as well as SMEs. CCB made more than RMB710 billion (US$105.7 billion) in loans that benefited 550,000 small and micro-enterprises. It has also explored new ways to expand rural finance by introducing new forms of banking support, such as the “agricultural quick loan.”
The bank has worked to alleviate poverty through a new platform known as Min Gong Hui, which offers services for migrant workers. To further broaden the reach and impact of its inclusive finance initiative, it established a one-stop service platform called Hui Dong Ni. These efforts are paying off for CCB. At the end of 2018, the bank’s balance of inclusive finance loans stood at RMB631.02 billion (US$93.95 billion), up 50.78%, from the previous year. This puts CCB as the industry leader in terms of balance loans and new inclusive finance loans.
CCB continued its adoption of fintech solutions in 2018. It has built 17 platforms, including public cloud services and smart government administration, to provide customized technical support services for customers, financial institutions and government departments. To deepen its technology capabilities, the bank also set up CCB Fintech Corporation, a wholly owned unit that employs big data analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence to fuel product innovation and improve customer service and risk management across the group’s various businesses and subsidiaries in China and overseas.
Serving the Real Economy
CCB is committed to serving the real economy and is doing so by proactively supporting major national strategic programs, including the Belt and Road Initiative, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Collaboration, the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, among others.
CCB provided the first commercial bank loan for the Xiongan New Area construction project, and also launched the Shan Xing Chen Jian financial brand to support the construction of urban infrastructure for smart city solutions. At the end of 2018, the bank’s loan balance for the infrastructure industry sector stood at RMB3.46 trillion (US$515.15 billion), a year-on-year increase of 3.04%.
CCB is also playing its part in the transformation of China’s economy. For instance, it has supported eco-friendly construction, with its green credit balance reaching RMB1.04 trillion (US$154.84 billion) last year. The bank successfully completed the first green and sustainable development bond issuance. Together with the National Development and Reform Commission, CCB actively supports emerging businesses, industries and technologies through a range of investment and financing vehicles, such as bonds, funds, mergers and acquisitions, and asset securitization.
On the retail-banking front, CCB constantly adapts its service offerings to meet the changing needs of consumers. In response to customer demand, it expanded its suite of easy-to-use financial products such as “quick loans,” and launched the personal wealth management and service platform “Long Wealth.” Such innovations continue to drive CCB’s retail business, as it leads the industry in terms of total customer volume, loan balance and asset quality.
Giving Back to Society
CCB ramped up its corporate social responsibility activities in 2018. To date, it has a total of 14,300 “caring stations” at its branches to provide useful services for industry groups such as delivery drivers, sanitation workers and taxi drivers. About 30 million people have benefited from this initiative so far.
In the area of manpower development, the bank set up CCB University to integrate the bank’s training resources and collaborate with other universities at home and abroad. It also launched the “Industry and Education Integration Alliance for New Financial Talents,” an open platform for education and training.
Fulfilling its responsibility as a large, state-owned bank, CCB donated a total of RMB89.41 million (US$13.31 million) toward public welfare in 2018, and rolled out several long-term public welfare projects. In 2019, which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, CCB will continue to move forward to realize its mission of “serving the public to live and work in peace and build a modern and beautiful life.”
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS
In March 2019, China Construction Bank announced its 2018 annual operating results. Here are some of the highlights:
- Total assets stood at RMB23.22 trillion (US$3.46 trillion), up 4.96% from 2017.
- Net profit rose 4.93% to RMB255.63 billion (US$38.06 billion), while net profit attributable to equity shareholders improved by 5.11% year-on-year to RMB254.66 billion (US$37.91 billion). Net interest income rose 7.48% to RMB486.28 billion (US$72.39 billion). Net interest margin reached 2.31%, an increase of 10 basis points.
- Return on average assets and return on average equity were 1.13% and 14.04%, respectively.
- The capital adequacy ratio was 17.19%, the nonperforming loan ratio was 1.46% and the provision coverage ratio was 208.37%.
- Based on the group’s strong business performance, the board of directors recommended a final cash dividend of RMB0.306 (US$0.05) per share (tax included).