Ping An Bank aims to join top joint-equity banks in five years

May 07, 2014 17:48
Ping An Bank expects retail banking to be its major business in eight years. Photo: Ping An Bank

Ping An Bank (000001.CN), a Shenzhen-based joint-stock commercial bank, aims to join the ranks of top joint-equity banks in five years by balancing its retail and corporate banking businesses, top management said.

“In the coming three to five years, we will focus on corporate banking business and establish a strong base for our retail one, so that we can realize a rapid development in each and every business to get into the circle of top joint-equity banks in five to eight years,” chief legal officer and company secretary Yao Jun told investors Wednesday.

“Retail banking business will be the major business of the lender and the leading source of profit after eight years.”

Ping An Bank has 38 branches and 531 sub-branches across China. It has set up three sub-branches and 33 community sub-branches in the first quarter of this year alone.

“The physical branches of Ping An Bank are still behind those of other commercial banks, so we hope to speed up the development of internet and mobile banking to make up for having fewer branches,” Yao said.

The lender has just launched a mobile wallet called “1 Qianbao”, which allows users not only to make purchases but also to make peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and transfers, according to the bank's website.

Asked about Alipay's Yu'E Bao money market fund, Yao said 1 Qianbao also gives a return that is above the industry level, although he did not elaborate. The application will be launched in Apple and Android stores.

Meanwhile, Yao said he expects the rate of return on the insurance investment of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. (02318.HK) to face some pressure this year, although "the net return is still stable in the first quarter”.

The group's insurance investment portfolio was at 1.3 trillion yuan (US$208.4 billion) as of end-March, up 5.7 percent from the beginning of the year. The company will continue to focus its investment on fixed-income products.

The company has no financing needs and no plans to expand overseas at this stage, Yao said.

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Ayishah Ma is a financial reporter on Greater China issues.