MAY 2018 ISSUE
THE ASIAN BANKING MONITOR w www.rfigroup.com t twitter.com/RFiMediaGRB
ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND (A TRADE) WAR RFi INSIGHT 06
ECONOMIC & REGULATORY
10 China reduces red tape for foreign bank
14 CIMB in the Singapore – Malaysia corridor
Digital preferences increases bank revenue
RFi GROUP MAY STAT TEN SELECTED STATISTICS FROM THE RFi GROUP WEBSITE (www.rďŹ group.com)
29% of UK consum
51% The majority of
strongly agree (4+/5 that they would use mobile wallets more frequently if there we rewards for doing so
Canadian SME business (51%) are very willing (8+/10) to apply for a Business Credit Card online
38% of US
consumers find PFM/ budgeting tools highly appealing (8+/10)
of consumers in France would be willing to conduct at least one banking task via the messaging services they use
mers 5) e e ere
17% of consumers in
China have used facial recognition to access their bank’s internet/ mobile banking
A third of
consumers in Hong Kong have sent/ received funds internationally in the last 12 months
21% of consumers in
Taiwan have made a contactless payment in store via smartphone in the last 12 months
3 in 5
New Zealand personal loan holders did not conduct any research prior to taking out their most recent loan
33% Of consumers in Egypt
are unlikely (0-5/10) to switch their main banking relationship, 33% state that better customer service could encourage them to do so in the next 12 moths
1 in 2
Australian mortgage holders are open to ‘Comprehensive Credit Reporting’ by financial institutions
Welcome to the May 2018 edition of The Asian Banking Monitor – a newsletter designed to give you a quick update on news and trends within the Asian banking market. We cover movements in all areas of the market – economics and regulatory, retail banking, priority and private banking, and technology. In this edition, there’s quite a focus on the technology aspect of banking with Oxigen and Paytm looking to further their capabilities in the fintech space in India. Grab has also emerged as a regional player not only with its recent acquisition of Uber in some Asia markets but also its intent to roll out financial services such as loans and insurance as loan demand picks up. Singapore and Japan are embracing the move to digital as they look to collaborate by sharing expertise and knowledge to enhance their position
in the global fintech space, while regulators in Korea are looking to regulate online banks and mitigate risks due to the recent popularity of Kakao Bank and K Bank. Finally, our insights piece will look at the recent spate of political tensions between the USA and China and analyse the ripple effect on the region, especially from the consumer banking perspective as trade war rumours trigger global sell-offs and flock to safe haven assets. Kind regards,
Andrew Kim Editor / Research Director – Asia email@example.com D +65 6597 7033 M +65 9797 1775
CONTENTS MAY 2018
06 RFi GROUP INSIGHT All’s fair in love and (a trade) war
10 ECONOMIC & REGULATORY China reduces red tape for foreign banks
CIMB in the Singapore – Malaysia corridor
SME COMERCIAL BANKING Stronger demand for the corporate loans
Digital preferences increases bank revenue
PRIORITY & PRIVATE BANKING Wealth Management App to be launched by OCBC Malaysia
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RFi GROUP INSIGHT
ALLâ€™S FAIR IN LOVE AND (A TRADE) WAR WORDS: RUSSELL QUAH
ecent political tension between US and China have sparked speculations of a trade war. However, it is unlikely that both countries are willing to put all on the line and engage in one. The cost is too high despite what country leaders are saying. And one must also look beneath the surface level of a threat and at underlying political intent. Despite the strong investor confidence moving into 2018, the political tension would spill over into consumer outlook. The potential for a trade war would undoubtedly shake investor confidence in US and China based holdings.
In a declaration that cheap global steel imports were a threat to the national security of the United States, U.S president Donald Trump signed a proclamation on the 8th of March to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on imported aluminium. The tariffs were supposedly targeted at China, with the intent to curb apparent unfair export policies. However, China only accounts for
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2% of US steel imports. International response to the import tax was as one would have imagined. Foreign governments and economists decried the tariffs, citing the ineffectiveness of the steel tariffs imposed by George W. Bush back in 2002. The Trump administration sought to soften the blow by exempting its regional allies and largest steel importers Canada and Mexico from the tariffs. Strategic trading allies were also given special inclusive options to soften the blow. In a subsequent statement, President Donald Trump announced a further $50 billion tariff on Chinese imports on the grounds of China breaching US intellectual property. The double blow to Chinese imports was met with China imposing its own $3 billion tariff on American products. Many feared the start of a trade war between China and the United States.
RFi GROUP INSIGHT
The repercussions of a trade war would have rippling global effects that would inevitably destabilize the global economy. History has shown that trade wars have a detrimental impact on the global economy. The signing of the SmootHawley Act in 1930 by then President of the United States Herbert Hoover, resulted in countries retaliating by imposing their own import tax. International trade halved in value, aggravating the effects of the Great Depression. While the economic circumstances and focus of the tariffs were different, the message holds true to this day. Trade wars have no winners. To grasp the eventual outcome, it is necessary to untangle the gloomy rhetoric driven by the media and reframe the tariffs and trade war as a political tool used to negotiate trade terms. Both the United States and China have too much to lose. Officials from the two sides have gone on record explicitly stating they have no intention of escalating into a trade war and that multilateral cooperation is key for both.
The repercussions of a trade war would have rippling global effects that would inevitably destabilize the global economy. History has shown that trade wars have a detrimental impact on the global economy TABM - RFi MEDIA 07
RFi GROUP INSIGHT
The good news is that, after the bravado and oneupmanship displayed by both parties, China has expedited its plan of opening its economy and trade policies . This addresses many of the accusations of intellectual property infringement made by the West. The easing of trade tension between the two superpowers rippled through Asian markets with renewed equity market growth . A good example of markets having renewed confidence can be seen in the rally of the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SSE Composite Index) rising on the 9th of April, following Chinaâ€™s announcement of agreeing to open its economy. It closed highest since the announcement of the US imposed tariffs on the 22nd of march (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index
CONCERN OVER THE STATE OF THE US ECONOMY By those who are highly concerned (4+/5), Regionally 50% 44%
20% 10% 0% India
Singapore Indonesia Hong Kong Malaysia Philippines
Figure 2: FY2017 RFi Priority & Retail Banking Councils
While it is too soon to capture consumer sentiment on the tariffs/ potential trade war, RFi data from FY2017 seem to indicate that consumers were generally bullish entering 2018. Figure 2 illustrates a relatively stable rate of concern over the US economy across the Asian markets. However, the proportion of consumers who were concerned (score of 4 or 5 out of 5) remained fairly high. China on one hand had only 36% of consumers indicating that they were concerned over the state of the US economy. This might indicate a sentiment of less reliance on the US. On the other hand, markets that are more exposed to global trade/ investment flows like Singapore and Hong Kong had close to 50% of consumers indicating concern over the US economy. It is likely that these markets would be more affected by the imposed tariffs and possible trade war.
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China on one hand had only 36% of consumers indicating that they were concerned over the state of the US economy. On the other hand, markets that are more exposed to global trade/ investment flows like Singapore and Hong Kong had close to 50% of consumers indicating concern over the US economy.
RFi GROUP INSIGHT
Should the worst-case scenario occur, and a trade war does ignite, it would be likely that investors would migrate to safer investment assets like bonds or gold as seen at the end of march (Figure 3). Additionally, there are pockets of international markets that might stand to benefit from a hypothetical trade war between the US and China. It is likely that countries that export substitute goods to the US and China would see an increase in demand in the short to the mid-term. Latin American markets like Brazil, one of the world’s top exporter of soybeans, would stand to gain as China might be forced to seek alternative sources of soybean imports. While gains in the short run might be possible, global trade would ultimately shrink in value. The long-term view is that losses will occur on all fronts.
It is likely that countries that export substitute goods to the US and China would see
For as much as Trump would like the tariffs to happen in a “loving way”, it is in the best interest of everyone to avoid tariffs and a trade war. The unlikely event of one might even have more extreme consequences given how interdependent and connected 21st century economies are.
an increase in demand in the short to the mid-term.
Figure 3: Gold Price Org
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ECONOMIC & REGULATORY
Economic & Regulatory WORDS GRACE CHIA
China reduces red tape for foreign banks
hina’s banking regulator has simplified business procedures in hopes of opening its tightly regulated market and levelling the playing field for foreign banks. The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has removed pre-approval procedures for offshore wealth management services and portfolio investment funds. CBRC has also reduced the number of approvals required for foreign banks to build branches, that the same as local banks. Regulators have also cut red tape required for foreign players to appoint executives. “The easing of administrative procedures makes it quite practical and effective for foreign banks to expand business operations in the mainland,” reported Xu Wenbing, chief banking analyst at Bank of Communications.
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In the retail banking space, RFi Group data shows large foreign banks such as Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered account for 6% of all relationships. This may be poised to change with foreign banks expected to grow over the next few years.
The easing of administrative procedures makes it quite practical and effective for foreign banks to expand business operations in the mainland
ECONOMIC & REGULATORY
MARKET PENETRATION Trended H1 2017
Ping An Bank
Citibank + HSBC + Standard Chatered
Source: RFi Group â€“ Hong Kong Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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ECONOMIC & REGULATORY
Singapore and Japan to collaborate on financial technology (FinTech) innovation WORDS EUNICE KOH In recognition of the growing synergies between banks and non-bank FinTechs, the Financial Services agency of Japan and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are looking to capitalise on them as key strategies of growth. As such, the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FinTech Association of Japan (FAJ). This partnership will boost greater FinTech innovation as they share expertise and benefit from joint innovation projects, strengthening the competitiveness and profile of the industry. According to RFi Group data, receptiveness to banking with FinTech providers is evident across Asia and its usage has grown over the past year. Both associations are in good position to gain from this opportunity through collaboration.
PERCENTAGE OF CONSUMERS WHO HAVE USED A FINTECH PROVIDER 2016
Net increase from 2016
100% 80% Hong Kong
: RFi Group â€“ Global Digital Banking Council (2016, 2017)
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ECONOMIC & REGULATORY
Regulating digital-only banks in South Korea WORDS BENJAMIN YEO Since their launch in 2017, new digital only banks K Bank and Kakao Bank have posed a threat to the incumbents, with K Bank having disbursed about 1.14 trillion won in consumer loans in the first 10 months of operations and Kakao Bank signing over 2.9 million users in its first month of operation.
the narrowing interest margins and tightening regulations, the cybersecurity risks involved with the growing popularity of digital banks have drawn the attention of regulating bodies. As a result, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), South Korea’s integrated financial regulator that examines and supervises financial institutions, has set up a new team dedicated to regulating digital banks and the risks. This team will solely monitor and regulate risks and activities pertaining to activities of internet banking as reliance on internet-only banking grows in South Korea.
Consumers in South Korea have been drawn to the perceived superiority of the digital banking capabilities offered by these digital banks as well as the competitive fees and charges and payment card deals, as shown by RFi Group Data. While digitalonly banks have given a lift to the local banking industry amidst
MAIN BANK DRIVERS Traditional Banks
Digital-only banks 14%
It has best digital banking
It has low / no fees and charges
It has good deals on credit and check card spending
It is most convenient to use this institution It is the institution I transact with most often
It provides good customer service It is easy to access my accounts via branches or ATM’S
It is a strong brand
My salary deposited into an account with this institution
My family has always banked with this institution
Most of my assets are with this institution
I hold the most banking products with this institution
It is institution I have been using for the longest
It has a variety of banking and investment services / products
My most used credit card is with this institution
28% 12% 12% 11% 47%
RFi Group – Korea Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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Retail Banking 14 TABM - RFi MEDIA
CIMB in the Singapore â€“ Malaysia corridor According to RFi Group Data, 23% of Singaporeans held a cross-border banking product in H2 2017, up from 16% in H2 2015.
WORDS BENJAMIN YEO
ross-border banking in Singapore has steadily increased over the past years. This trend has opened opportunities for financial institutions to expand their activity within the region. CIMB for example, has recently unveiled its cross-border banking solutions for their customers in Singapore and Malaysia. Customers will now be able to manage their CIMB account in Malaysia and Singapore seamlessly through CIMB Clicks, an integrated internet banking platform. Aside from the added convenience, the new service provides benefits such as fee waiver for fund transfers, preferential forex rates for online transfers, and bill payments. According to RFi Group Data, 23% of Singaporeans held a cross-border banking product in H2 2017, up from 16% in H2 2015. When looking at countries outside of Singapore where they hold banking products, Malaysia comes out top with over 1 in 3 holding their cross-border product there. Crossborder banking solutions will provide banks like CIMB with a good opportunity to acquire and deepen their relationship with banking customers.
Cross-border banking solutions will provide banks like CIMB with a good opportunity to acquire and deepen their relationship with banking customers.
DO YOU HOLD ANY BANKING PRODUCTS OR INVESTMENTS IN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE SINGAPORE? Retail banking customers 50% 40% 30% 21%
10% 0% H1 2017
RFi Group â€“ Singapore Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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Grab’s foray in to consumer finance and insurance WORDS ANQI LI Grab Financial, the ride sharing company’s fintech arm, will start offering loans and insurance to consumers in Southeast Asia by entering into a joint venture (JV) with Credit Saison Co. The JV will utilize Grab’s existing data pool to provide credit ratings by analyzing behaviours such as transport movements, geo-location and GrabPay transaction data.
underbanked in the region. In addition to loans, Grab signed a partnership with Chubb, property and casualty insurance provider, to offer insurance plans to Grab’s drivers and customers. There is high demand in the region for insurance and loans for the banked population, with Vietnam having the highest proportion of insurance products holders, according to RFi Group data. With Grab’s offering of insurance to drivers and focus on the unbanked, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact Grab insurance will make on the countries it enters.
The first pool of target consumers will be Grab drivers, agents and merchants, by providing them with working capital loans, financing for smartphones and consumer goods financing with partnerships with banks and financial institutions in the pipeline. The JV also aims to close the gap in financial accessibility as there are millions of unbanked or
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS DO YOU HOLD? Retail banking customers
RFi Group – Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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There is high demand in the region for insurance and loans for the banked population, with Vietnam having the highest proportion of insurance products holders, according to RFi Group data
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Technology Digital preferences increases bank revenue WORDS CHRISTOPHER GOH
ccording to recent data published from the Bank of Thailand, the volume of internet and mobile banking transactions has expanded at a rapid pace as in Thailand. Internet and mobile transactions in Thailand accounted for 33% of total payment transaction volume, or 23.4 trillion baht (USD $743 billion), for the first nine months in 2017, a noticeable increase from 8% in 2010. The proportion of payment transaction volume over mobile and internet banking channels has been increasing steadily over the past few years. Thai consumersâ€™ widespread use of and preference for digital banking channels reflects the effectiveness of digital strategies employed by Thai banks. The banks can now look towards the possibility of rationalising their
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branch networks, which would improve cost efficiencies along with expanding product offerings beyond transactional products - all of which would increase revenue. According to RFi Group data, banked consumers in Thailand are most likely to prefer to use a digital channel for a future product application, with this proportion increasing from 46% in H2 2016 to 54% in H2 2017. With banks positioning themselves to invest in digital banking platforms and infrastructure, coupled with increasing consumer preference for digital channels, both consumers and banks are poised to mutually benefit from greater digitalisation in the coming years.
IMAGINE IN 6 YEARS TIME, IF YOU WERE TO TAKE UP ANOTHER PRODUCT, WHICH ONE CHANNEL WOULD BE YOUR PREFERRED CHANNEL H2 2017
30% 3% 3%
Bank branch /store
Via a broker/ financial planner
Bank hotline/ call centre
RFi Group â€“ Thailand Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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Investing into digital solutions will help banks to capture customers looking to sign up for products WORDS JONATHAN ENG With the shifting attitude of the banked population towards digital solutions and a greater reliance on digital banking, it is important for banks to focus on providing avenues that allow their customers to bank digitally. One example of a bank that has started to provide such digital solutions is Standard Chartered which has been investing in digital banking and other fintech services to meet the needs of tech-savvy customers. As a result of these investments, customers have been able to apply for credit cards and some loans online without having to visit a branch and there are plans to expand this service to opening savings accounts in the second quarter of this year. According to Mary Huen Wai-Yi, CEO of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong, their “customers responded very positively to digital banking services”
According to RFi Group Data, about 22% of product applications were done digitally and 59% were done through a bank branch but looking at the next 6 years, digital channels account for 44% of the preferred channel for product uptake while bank branches account for 36%.
According to RFi Group Data, about 22% of product applications were done digitally and 59% were done through a bank branch but looking at the next 6 years, digital channels account for 44% of the preferred channel for product uptake while bank branches account for 36%. For banks, this reflects the importance of investing in and providing digital solutions to their customers.
CHANNEL USAGE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Total market Current channel used
Future preference for channel
100% 80% 60%
Internet banking via a desktop/ laptop computer
RFi Group – Hong Kong Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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Paytm’s quest for transfers WORDS ANQI LI Paytm, a digital payments provider in India, upgraded its app recently to reveal a more user-friendly and intuitive interface. The upgrade will allow instant money transfers from a user’s bank account or Paytm Wallet to other bank accounts with no fees involved.
Usage of bank transfers/online
To substantially grow its money transfer business, Paytm has been educating its users on linking their bank accounts to experience instant transfers through its app. It hopes to address the transfer needs across different cases such as peer-to-peer transfers, supplier/ wholesale dues and paying of house rents etc.
transfers is on the rise
Usage of bank transfers/online transfers is on the rise and is one of the top 5 payment methods used by Indian consumers. 45% of consumers used it to make a payment in H2 2017, which is an increase of 5% from H1 2017 and shows Paytm’s potential to tap into a rapidly growing consumer habit.
by Indian consumers
and is one of the top 5 payment methods used
TOP NON-CASH PAYMENT METHODS USED IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Total market H1 2017
20% 6% 8%
Visa/ Master card prepaid gift card
0% Digital wallet
Bank transfer/ online transfer
Cheque (for personal and not business purposes)
Retail store gift card
RFi Group – Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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Visa/ Master card reloadable prepaid card
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SME & COMMERCIAL BANKING
SME & Commercial Stronger demand for corporate loans WORDS CHRISTOPHER GOH
alaysia’s leading two banks, Maybank and CIMB, expect stronger appetite for commercial loans in the Southeast Asian region. The increase in demand is stimulated by improving economies in the region, which support their overall loans growth projection for 2018. CIMB set a target to improve loan growth this year as it expects markets in Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand to rally – CIMB’s loan growth was weakened to 0.2% in 2017, against its target of 7%. Maybank on the other hand reported a 4% group loan growth in 2017, a rate that it plans to maintain this year. CIMB saw higher supplies for commodity-related loans in Singapore and Thailand markets last year, whereas Maybank
saw reduced provisions for their loans on commodities such as oil and gas. Both banks however, did record comparable net interest margins (NIMs) – which is the difference in interest paid and earned, and a measure of a bank’s profitability – with Maybank and CIMB reporting NIMs of 2.36% at 2.63% respectively. According to RFi Group data, Maybank and CIMB are the two leading banks when it comes to market share for credit & lending services in Malaysia, which include corporate loans. With an expected increase in demand for corporate loans in the Southeast Asian region, it would likely enhance both Maybank as well as CIMB’s market share in the credit & lending services space.
MARKET SHARE OF CREDIT & LENDING SERVICES - TOP 10 Trended H1 2017
30% 20% 13% 14%
Hong Leong Bank
RFi Group – Malaysia Commercial Banking Council (H2 2017)
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SME & COMMERCIAL BANKING
According to RFi Group data, Maybank and CIMB are the two leading banks when it comes to market share for credit & lending services in Malaysia, which include corporate loans
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SME & COMMERCIAL
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SME & COMMERCIAL
Oxigen Services introduced India’s first paperless expense management solution for SMEs, corporates WORDS CORENE LIM Payment solutions provider Oxigen Services has partnered with Rupay and RBL Bank to roll out India’s first all-in-one prepaid debit card-based expense management solution for SMEs and corporates. This solution provides e-KYC (Know Your Customer) services for faster activation of cards and further digitizes payment and reimbursement functions for businesses. The card is integrated within the Oxigen Wallet application for SMEs to manage cards in real time environment. RFi Group data indicates 39% of SMEs in India do not use business debit cards because they are concerned about managing spend by employees, so the prepaid feature will look to alleviate one of the key concerns SMEs have around managing employee spend. Oxigen’s service also offers companies an array of services in the form of food, fuel, books and periodicals, vendor payments, salary disbursement and travel advances. With the solution to be made available on e-commerce sites, for online & offline payments, as well as enabling cash withdrawals from ATMs, it will be interesting to see how the payment habits of SMEs evolve with the introduction of such capabilities in India.
WHY DOES YOUR BUSINESS NOT USE A BUSINESS DEBIT CARD FOR BUSINESS EXPENSES SMEs in India Concern about managing spend by employess
Employees prefer to use their own cards
Employees do not need to have a business debit card
The cost to the business would be too high
Challenge of implementing a business card solution in the business
The card product the business uses does not enable cards to be issued to employees
RFi Group – India SME Banking Council (H2 2017)
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PRIORITY & PRIVATE BANKING
Priority & Private Banking Wealth Management App to be launched by OCBC Malaysia WORDS VIVIEN LIM
aced with rising fraudulent phone calls in Malaysia, OCBC Malaysia plans to launch OCBC Secure Chat Banking Mobile Application, a secure communication channel for its affluent clients. The mobile application will enable OCBC Premier clients to give financial instructions to their relationship managers through Whatsapp, WeChat and LINE, without having the need to receive a call-back for verification. With the Bank Negara’s approval last month, OCBC Malaysia will be collaborating with Moxtra Inc, a Fintech company, to conduct a regulatory sandbox test on its new initiative in the next 12 months.
Thee successful launch of OCBC’s secure chat banking will be the first initiative in the market, which will improve security and efficiency in communications between clients and their relationship managers. There is an increasing importance of the communications for the advisory space, as RFi Group data shows that there has been an increasing reliance on financial advisors in aiding investment decisions of affluent investors over 2017. With 7 in 10 priority banking customers in Malaysia holding investment products, the wealth management space is a key space in the affluent banking proposition and it will be interesting to see the impact of this new application on the industry.
WHICH STATEMENT DESCRIBES YOUR PREFERRED APPROACH TO ADVICE AND INVESTMENT DECISION MAKING Priority Banking Customers who hold investment products H1 2017
0% I make all the decisions, and I don’t rely on financial advisors
I make most of the investment decisions, but will seek help from financial advisors for nonstock investment
I will regularly consult my financial advisor, but will search for additonial information to support my final decision
RFi Group – Malaysia Priority and Retail Banking Council (H2 2017)
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I rely on my financial advisor on making most, or even all investment decisions
PRIORITY & PRIVATE BANKING
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OF THE PHILIPPINES population are banked (from weatlh model)
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