The banks category adjusted to a combination of pressures that negatively impacted results, including slower economic growth, poorly performing loans and market reforms that lifted the interest rate ceiling on certain products making them less profitable.
Although most banks remained at least partially controlled by the government, reforms opened the way for more market-driven banks to enter the category. In addition, banks faced competition from non-banking entities introducing financial products. Ecommerce giant Alibaba offered micro loans, for example.
Banks responded with multiple strategies, including: expanding the focus on wealth management for private banking clients and developing online banking presence, often with mobile apps made available though partner Internet brands.
The banks category, which includes nine brands, comprises one-fifth of the total brand value of the BrandZTM China Top 100. The category was surpassed in total brand value for the first time this year, by technology.