Banks: Despite economic pressures, category rises in value again
Belt and Road funding opportunities help largest lenders
Continuing the value growth of last year, the nine bank brands ranked in the BrandZ™ China Top 100 increased 9 percent, which follows an increase of 13 percent. One bank brand dropped from the ranking.
In general, larger banks were better positioned to withstand the year’s economic challenges, including slower growth, stock market volatility, international trade tensions, and concerns about shadow banking, although banks have been reducing the shadow banking practice of making off-balance-sheet, riskier loans at higher interest rates.
Three state-owned banks—China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of Communications—each rose 14 percent. Opportunities to help fund national Belt and Road initiatives especially helped the four largest state-owned banks: ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China.
The four largest banks also announced plans to open wealth management subsidiaries, soon after regulators introduced reforms related to investments made by commercial banks. The new rules relax restrictions on wealth management investments while controlling risk by isolating the investments from the rest of the banks’ businesses.