Since the Singapore representative office was established in 1992, ICBC has enjoyed a glorious history of more than 20 years on its way to internationalization. With remarkable achievements including increasingly improved global service network, integrated IT platform linking both China and other countries, significantly improved international service capabilities, ICBC now is capable of providing trustworthy, considerate, high-quality and efficient financial service to customers all over the world.
1. A well-established global service network
Committed to the strategy of setting up branches on its own and making mergers and acquisitions in both emerging and developed markets, ICBC has seized historical opportunities and proactively built a global service network. By the end of 2018, ICBC has set up 426 institutions in 47 countries and regions. Besides, by acquiring shares of Standard Bank of South Africa, ICBC expanded its service indirectly to 20 African countries, thus forming a global service network covering Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, America and Australia. Meanwhile, its international reputation is also on the rise. In 2016, ICBC was awarded the World's Best Emerging Markets Bank for the first time and the Best Bank of China for the 10th time by GLOBAL FINANCE. In 2017, ICBC retained the title of World's Best Emerging Markets Bank and also it was granted the Best Bank of Asia-Pacific by GLOBAL FINANCE. In 2018, ICBC was awarded the Best Bank of China for the 10th time by Euromoney. The licenses of overseas institutions are usually versatile, as a result, most overseas institutions are allowed to engage in commercial banking business, as well as all or some of investment banking and other financial businesses. Since the acquisition of the public equity of Standard Bank, ICBC has become the first Chinese bank purchasing institutions engaged in market transaction businesses like commodities, capital and currency, capable of providing trading service in fields of commodities, foreign exchange, interest rate, credit and equity to customers worldwide. ICBC has over 15,000 overseas employees, 92% of whom are local. As a significant supplement to overseas operation network, the correspondent banks network of ICBC has expanded to 145 countries and regions with 1,502 foreign correspondent banks.
2. World-leading integrated IT platform
In the process of internationalization, ICBC has always set up the IT systems concurrently with the institutions. By doing so, ICBC has gained IT strengths and enhanced its capabilities of products supply, business expansion and risk control for overseas institutions. FOVA, the independently developed overseas core banking system of ICBC, has three tiers: global, regional and local. It can be used in such fields as deposit, loan, remittance, bank card, online banking, international settlement, trade financing and financial markets. In addition, it supports banking business of multiple languages, multiple time zones and multiple currencies and a full range of functions. FOVA is the first global integrated IT platform in China's banking industry. Today, it has been applied to all overseas institutions except the new M&As. FOVA can provide customers with cross-business, cross-time zone, multicurrency, full-ranged, integrated and convenient service. Since 2005, ICBC has taken proactive measures to promote the centralized processing of documentary business of overseas institutions. At present, international settlement documentary businesses of both domestic and overseas institutions are all collected to the documents center in the Head Office. In 2014, the global document management system was launched, which makes the centralized processing of documentary business more efficient and promotes the intensive management of international business to a higher level. ICBC is focusing on leading the way via innovation. It has made every effort to advance two major innovative projects, namely, smart banking information system (ECOS) and e-ICBC3.0. It has also continued to upgrade and transform smart financial service, building a global financial service ecosystem in which service is available everywhere, innovation is inclusive to everything and application is universal for everyone.
3. Excellent global service capability
Relying on FOVA and the license advantage of overseas institutions, ICBC has proactively speeded up the innovation of overseas products meeting the demand of the market. For instance, global connectivity has been realized in key product lines such as cross-border RMB, special financing, investment banking, financial market, corporate banking, asset management, custodial business, private banking, global cash management, retail banking, E-banking, card business and precious metals trading. By doing this, a globalized and full-functional service network following cross-border customers has taken shape. In cross-border RMB business, following the Singapore Branch, another 6 branches, namely, Luxembourg Branch, Doha (QFC) Branch, ICBC (Canada), ICBC (Thai), ICBC (Argentina), and Bank ICBC (JSC) were authorized by the People's Bank of China as the RMB clearing bank in their host countries respectively. This makes ICBC the first financial institution possessing clearing banks across Asian, European and American time zones. In special financing business, ICBC approved 83 new loan commitments for Going Global projects with a commitment amount of USD19.1 billion in 2018. In investment banking business, ICBC completed 25 financing projects for cross-border M&As with an amount of RMB37.5 billion in 2018, raking Top 1 for the fourth consecutive year in cross-border M&A market of Chinese enterprises issued by Thomson Reuters. In financial market business, ICBC strengthened collaborative marketing for agency transactions in 2018. It established agency relationship with 172 overseas institutions from 39 countries and regions. By quantity of customers, ICBC ranked the first among Chinese banks, and by the number of transactions, it took the first place in the industry. Besides, ICBC acted as underwriter for 24 Panda bonds of 10 customers, with an amount of RMB40.7 billion and a market share of 54.51%, thus steadily ranking the first in the industry. In asset management business, ICBC grasped the opportunities in global asset management and fully advanced the overseas asset management platform. In 2018, the assets under management and consulting by ICBC Capital Management (Global) Co., Ltd. reached HKD127.1 billion. In global cash management business, by 2018, ICBC has had more than 7,200 cash management customers globally and its service coverage has extended to over 80 countries and regions.
4. Robust transnational business performance
In the process of internationalization, ICBC has always paid equal attention to the speed, scale, quality and efficiency of development, committed to the sustainable development strategy, and maintained steady achievements in transnational business. In 2018, the contribution of overseas institutions continued to increase in a steady way. In comprehensive strength, ICBC (Asia) continued to escalate its ranking in the market and is holding a strong forefront position in the Hong Kong market. ICBC (Macau) is the largest local banking entity in Macau. A number of overseas institutions such as ICBC (Argentina), institutions in the Middle East, ICBC (Thai), ICBC Karachi Branch and Vientiane Branch have a strong local influence.
Note: Information on this page is for reference only, and the specific business is subject to announcements and regulations of local outlets of ICBC.