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But a decade later, retail banking profits from China remain elusive for the four and their foreign peers.
Stringent Chinese regulations have kept foreign players on a tight leash. By limiting the stake that they can own in domestic banks, regulators have ruled out a route for expansion and forced foreign banks to build their networks from scratch. The untimely outbreak of the global financial crisis did not help either.
The banks had to shift their focus from expansion to downsizing and rebuilding their balance sheets. The status granted the banks full access to yuan-denominated services and businesses onshore. Twenty one of the biggest of them are headquartered in Shanghai.
Their yuan services accounted for 70 per cent of their assets, loans and deposits. The profile of their loans have shifted over a decade to Chinese companies, away from multinationals.
Foreign banks have also expanded their network and assets but the numbers are still a drop in the ocean, against the overall total for the country. Coupled with the complexity and difficulty of operating in China against uncertain economic conditions, achieving profitability is increasingly an uphill struggle.
Yet, the banks are undaunted and stressed that China was a long-term play, even if it means the necessary investments in expanding products and customer reach will crimp earnings and translate into short-term losses.
At Citibank China, the bank is revising its strategy to focus on building its digital offerings and resources to grow its retail banking business that has yet to generate any profit. Analysts believe that to grow onshore, foreign banks have to sharpen their differentiation from Chinese banks.
Though easier said than done, foreign banks have an edge in areas including cross-border business, trade finance, foreign exchange and derivatives trading and cash management that Chinese regulators recognise.
Even in the pain spot of retail banking, they have been instrumental in elevating the standards of service and nurturing talents over the years.
Foreign banks are also leading in innovation and cross-border settling services in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in areas such as cross-border syndicated loans set up by overseas financial institutions, consulting services for depositary receipts of Chinese companies in overseas markets.
Banks say their earnings from Chinese clients outside the mainland have gained traction, even as prospects onshore remain uncertain. Jimmy Leung, China financial services leader, PwC To be sure, Beijing has given its support for foreign banks to cash in from assisting Chinese companies going abroad.
The CBRC said in March that the mainland operations of foreign banks can cooperate with their parent overseas and allocate profits in assisting Chinese companies expand globally through overseas bond sales, listings, mergers and acquisitions, and other financing activities.The table below presents an abbreviated geologic time scale, with times and events germane to this essay.
Please refer to a complete geologic time scale when this one seems inadequate. Discuss Ten Events of the Last Decade that Most Changed the Business Environment. Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.
Stephen M. Walt Top ten global events of the past decade This is the time of year when pundits (and party-goers) get asked to offer predictions for the New Year.
The s was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, , and ended on December 31, The growth of the Internet contributed to globalization during the decade, which allowed faster communication among people around the world.. The economic growth of the s had considerable social, environmental, and mass .
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