News ArchiveArchive of industry news from the global banking industry
News By Date
Myanmar banks increase MasterCard acceptance at ATMs
Following acceptance by Asia Green Development bank of MasterCard payments, Ayeyarwady (AYA) Bank now allow MasterCard payment cards and Maestro/Cirrus cards for cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Visa and i2c form strategic partnership to develop prepaid offering
Payments provider partners with global prepaid processor i2c, to broaden reach in prepaid market across Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
All-women bank chooses FIS for technology platform
India's first all-women bank has selected FIS to provide its technology platform.
Payvision adds JCB to its payment portfolio
Global payments provider Payvision has added Japanese JCB Card to its payment portfolio, meaning merchants with Payvision can accept the card.
BOP launches MasterCard-powered debit card
The Bank of Punjab (BOP) has teamed up with MasterCard to issue a debit card service to its customers.
Japanese regulator turns spotlight on banks' links with gangsters
The Japanese regulator is to investigate into whether the three largest banks, Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui, and Mizuho made loans to gangsters known as 'yakuza'.
Number of ATMs in Burma rise to 450
The number of automated teller machines (ATMs) in Burma has increased from none in 2012 to 450 in 2013, while the number of point-of-sale (POS) terminals has increased to 2,500.
UBS plans to double invested assets foothold in Asia
The Swiss bank seeks to double its assets under management in Asia from 14.3% to atleast 25% of its global AUM base, to leverage on the expansive economic growth in the region.
Maybank Singapore spends S$55m on IT upgrade
The Malaysia-based bank looks improve the technology infrastructure of its Singapore operations in engagement with Dimension Data and NTT Singapore.
Westpac to move 83 Australian jobs to India
Sydney-based lender Westpac is planning to move 83 jobs from its business consumer lending, business consumer services and group finance divisions in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, to India under a cost-cutting programme.
Popularity of mobile banking in the US surpasses mail and landline
A survey has revealed that the popularity of mobile banking has surpassed both mail and landline, rising by 2% to become the favourite method of 8% of Americans.
Yahoo to keep larger portion of stake in Alibaba
Yahoo is to keep more than half of its shares in Alibaba after a new deal with the Chinese e-commerce giant.
EastWest Bank launches prepaid travel money card
Philippine EastWest Bank has launched a prepaid card for frequent travellers that can carry up to six foreign currencies.
The Reserve Bank of India unveils technical committee on mobile banking
The Reserve Bank of India has announced the institution of a technical committee to assist in its mobile banking strategy.
Axis bank revamps m-banking applications to appeal to NextGen customers
India’s third largest private sector bank worked with Singapore-based mobile solutions company Tagit to bring Axis Mobile 2.0 for greater personalization and ‘on-the-go’ services.
FICO Asia points to growing problem of enterprise fraud in region
In a fraud forum hosted by analytics software company FICO, threats in mobile banking and card-not-present payments were seen as the deepest concerns in Asia.
Agriculture Promotion Bank in Laos goes updates its electronic payment systems
Laos’ largest bank partners with ElectraCard Services (ECS) to enhance electronic payments platform. The electra payments suite will expand delivery channels for the bank, including ATMs, POS, internet and mobile.
"No further extension of time" for security upgrade, says Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve Bank of India has refused to extend the deadline for banks to comply with improved security on card payment terminals.
"China a priority" for Citi, opens first Shanghai branch
Citigroup will be one of the first foreign banks to venture into the new free-trade zone in Pudong, Shanghai, announced by China's State Council on 27 September.
Asia Pacific expected to regain title of largest world wealth market by 2014: RBC Capgemini report
The population and wealth of APAC high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) increased at double and triple the rates of HNWIs in the rest of the world over the last five years, and is expected to reach $15.9trn in value by 2015 according to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2013, published by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
BNZ uses facial recognition software to uncover New Zealanders' financial feelings
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has adopted facial recognition software for its website to help customers understand how they feel about their money.
ICICI Bank uses Facebook for mobile payments
ICICI, India's 3rd largest bank by assets, has unveiled a new app allowing customers to send money to people via Facebook.
Asia Pacific shows promise in cashless transactions growth: World Payments Report 2013
The number of global non-cash payment transactions is expected to have reached 333bn in 2012, according to the World Payments Report 2013 published by Capgemini and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), propelled by economic recovery in North America and growth in developing markets.
DBS on-boards AirAsia on rewards programme
The largest Singapore bank aims to leverage on the increasing trend of card members converting reward points to miles, by reaching out to low cost airline AirAsia to be part of its credit cards rewards program.
Citi and Visa launch contactless credit card in the Philippines
Citi has unveiled a contactless credit card in the Philippines using Visa's payWave.
YSPay and Accenture roll out m-payments in China
YSPay, a Chinese payment provider, has joined with Accenture to roll out a new mobile payments system.
25% of Indian card payments made online
25% of card transactions in India now take place online, according to the Reserve Bank of India.
ICICI to issue 500k credit cards by March 2014
ICICI Bank is aiming to gain 500k credit card customers by March 2014.
Societe Generale looks to sell Asia private bank business
French based Societe Generale is seeking the sale of its Asia private banking arm in a move to exit a market where small managers are hit by rising costs and competition, according to Reuters.
Temple in Mumbai, India introduces prepaid card
Authorities of the Siddhivinayak temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh, in India have introduced a prepaid, rechargeable card.
Malaysia's CIMB Bank launches two online banking features
Malaysia's CIMB Bank has launched two online banking features, allowing customers to open accounts online and transfer funds to mobile numbers or email addresses.
Japan's JCBI expands businesses in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Brazil
Japan's JCB International (JCBI) credit card operator has announced the signing of agreements to issue cards and begin merchant acquiring operations in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Brazil.
96% of transactions in India still in cash
Almost 96% of transactions in India are conducted in cash and only 3.6% of Indian households use cashless transactions, according to a report.
NCR launches 24 hour branch banking in Southeast Asia
Global transaction tech company NCR has launched 24 hour branch banking in Southeast Asia with interactive ATMs.
Reserve Bank of India permits cash withdrawals with prepaid cards at POS
The Reserve Bank of India has announced that prepaid cards issued by banks can now be used to withdraw cash at POS terminals.
Malaysian regulator aspires for Kuala Lumpur to become Islamic wealth management hub
Given the country's high savings rate, the Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia aims to position Kuala Lumpur as an Islamic wealth management hub, according to news agency The Sun Daily.
BRAC bank to accept JCB cards
Bangladesh's BRAC Bank is to start accepting Japan-based JCB International (JCBI) cards.
Western Union launches mobile money transfer service to Nepal with eSewa
Global money transfer company Western Union has announced the expansion of its mobile money transfer service to Nepal.
Mint Wireless launches simplified m-payments platform
Australian payment processor Mint Wireless has launched an m-payments platform that aims to simplify the use of card payments across multiple mobile devices and platforms.
ANZ launches corporate banking app for Android
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has launched a version of its corporate banking mobile app that can be used on Android phones.
Carrefour China and China CITIC Bank launch co-branded credit card
Carrefour China and China CITIC Bank have signed an agreement to launch the Carrefour CITIC credit card.
Siam Commercial Bank chooses BWise to deliver GRC platform
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has chosen software company BWise to deliver a platform to support their governance, risk management and compliance initiatives (GRC).
China joins international stand against tax evasion
China has signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters at a ceremony at the OECD.
Qantas partners with Mastercard for Frequent Flyer membership card
Qantas and Mastercard have released the Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card, to include storing foreign currency, accessing cash worldwide via ATM withdrawals, and earning points on spending in Australia and overseas.
UBS launches wealth management master programme in Asia Pacific
UBS Wealth Management has launched its first Wealth Management Master programme in Asia Pacific targeted at its most senior client advisors. This is part of a global roll-out of the training programme.
United Bank of India to launch tea credit card
United Bank of India is unveiling a credit scheme for tea growers to extend credit to small-scale growers in the northeast state of Assam.
MasterCard, C-Sam and DNP team up on NFC m-wallet
MasterCard, C-Sam and Japanese company Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) have joined forces to launch a white-label NFC mobile wallet service in Japan.
BNP expands onshore wealth team in India with new senior director
Ravinder Singh has re-joined BNP Paribas Wealth Management from Barclays Wealth to develop the franchise and client services in north and east India.
Citibank reaches out to life insurers in Asia Pacific
To capitalize on the growing demand for life insurance and savings products by the rising Asian middle class the bank will sell access to its branch network to life insurance companies. The venture could potentially create the largest bank-based insurance distribution networks in region.
MasterCard establishes analytics centre in India
To address the growing need for big data and analytics MasterCard announced the launch of Advanced Analytics Centre of Excellence in India. The centre aims to provide transaction analytics on spending trends to global customers.
Vodafone India extends M-Pesa mobile payment service to Delhi
Vodafone India, in partnership with ICICI Bank, has launched the M-Pesa mobile payment service in Delhi, India's second city.
Nation Trust Bank launches new MasterCard in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Nations Trust Bank is set to launch a MasterCard branded debit card, the Nations Trust Bank Shopping Card.
Swiff brings end-to-end mPOS solution to Asia
SCCP Group’s Swiff payments and Bank of Ayodhya in Thailand launched end-to-end mPOS solution to harness electronic banking opportunities in the region.
Wall Street Finance announces BDO as newest partner
Canada-based money transfer company, Wall Street Finance, has announced Banco de Oro Universal Bank (BDO), the largest bank in the Philippines by assets, as its newest financial institution partner.
CBA wealth management shows 9% growth in annual profit
The wealth management division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has reported net profit of A$687 million (US$624.68 million) for the financial year ended 30 June 2013, an increase of 9% from A$629 million (US$571.95 million) reported a year ago.
Creative Holidays opts for WEX Virtual Card Solution
Australian tour operator Creative Holidays has teamed up with WEX, a provider of corporate and prepaid payment solutions, to allow customers to pay with virtual cards.
Indian regulators to ease controls on foreign banks
Reserve Bank of India set to unveil new policy to allow foreign banks to open more local branches, reported the Financial Times.
Citi China launches automated solution for RMB cross-border settlement
Citibank China becomes the first foreign bank to launch a paperless processing solution for renminbi cross border settlement.
Australia’s rising superannuation industry threatens banking sector
Industry experts and academics at the Funding Australia’s Future Forum expressed concern on the pick-up in superannuation and its impact on bank deposits, reported News9 Finance.
StanChart wealth management shows healthy growth overall in H1
The Asia-focused bank sees 8% rise in H1 operating income, and APAC markets showed growth across product lines. However, South Korea remains a difficult market with a $1bn writedown in its business.
Swiff's Chip & PIN solution is now approved by the Visa Ready Program
Swiff's chip and pin product has received approval for use with Visa payments through the Visa Ready Program.
Ta Chong Bank in Taiwan to issue JCB cards
JCB International, the overseas arm of the Japanese payment brand Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), announced Ta Chong Bank has signed a license agreement for JCB card issuance in Taiwan.
UOB Group H1 record earnings underpinned by strong fees and steady loan growth
The group made H1 earnings of S$1.5bn ($1.25bn) with an 8% quarter-on-quarter profit in Q2 of S$783mn ($653mn). Net interest income also exceeded S$1bn ($833,333), with a loans portfolio growth of 3% to S$173bn ($144.2bn).
StanChart launches onshore mutual funds in China
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) China announced the official launch of its domestic mutual funds in Shanghai, making it one of the first foreign banks to provide this offering in the mainland.
DTCC acquires full ownership of Omgeo
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) bought remaining 50% stake of Omgeo from Thomson Reuters, to have full ownership of the technology solutions provider.
Singaporeans remain concerned about financial future: Nielson Global Survey
Q2 global consumer confidence results from the survey showed cautious sentiment among Singaporeans, with over 60% of the respondents keeping spare cash as savings while 24% investing it into shares and mutual funds.
Record-high funds level validates Singapore as key wealth management centre
Recent report by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated that funds managed in Singapore reached an all-time high of $1.29 trn at end of 2012, catching up rapidly to Switzerland AUM of $2.9trn.
Sri Lanka Central Bank launches unbranded ATMs
Sri Lanka's Central Bank has taken its first step towards launching a nationwide e-payments scheme by introducing common ATMs.
New Zealand’s Westpac bank to crowdsource mobile banking apps
Westpac is launching an initiative to crowdsource ideas for mobile banking apps from New Zealand developers and designers with up to NZ$70,000 ($56,000) of incentives and the opportunity for those chosen to take their app to the world.
MasterCard and Visa seek to ban credit card signatures in Australia
Card giants MasterCard and Visa have lodged a joint application with Australian competition regulators to ban credit card signatures in a bid to reduce card fraud.
ICICI team up with Movida on mobile payments
ICICI Bank, India's second largest bank by assets, is to launch a mobile payment and purchase service to its customers through a partnership with Movida, the joint mobile payments venture of Visa and Monetise.
China’s Sina to launch online banking service
Chinese online media company Sina is to launch an online banking platform called WeiBank later this year.
Ezetap launches mPOS device
Bangalore based mobile payments company Ezetap has launched an updated version of its mobile point of sale device that will cost merchants $50.
PayPal partners with Australian eateries to expand offline payment operations
PayPal Australia is to collaborate with hospitality technology companies EatNow and OrderMate to expand its cashless and cardless payment option into Australian restaurants, cafes and bars.
Attracting talent is top concern for Singapore’s insurance sector
Insurance Banana Skins survey 2013 showed that insurance companies in Singapore indicated human resources and talent retention as their top concern. Regulation remains the number one risk globally, and in the APAC region.
CB Bank to be first to issue Visa and MasterCard cards in Myanmar
The Co-Operative Bank (CB Bank), the second oldest commercial bank in Myanmar, has revealed it wants to be the first bank in the country to issue Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
China UnionPay launches mobile payments app
Chinese bank card network UnionPay has released its mobile payments app, Wallet, in Shanghai.
Maybank subsidiary sets up branch in Mumbai
Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII), a subsidiary of Maybank Group, started operations of its branch in Mumbai to enhance the bank’s presence beyond the ASEAN region .
Europe and Asia first to get New Zealand mPOS service
New Zealand based technology company Optimizer HQ is to release a mobile point of sale system across Europe and South East Asia next month.
BNP Paribas Cardif enters Chinese insurance market
In a joint venture with Bank of Beijing, the insurance wing of BNP Paribas to acquire 50% stake in ING Group.
HSBC to cease retail banking in South Korea
HSBC will close its retail branches in South Korea from July 8, the bank has announced.
JCBI enters Myanmar
The international operations subsidiary of the Japan Credit Bureau JCB International (JCBI) has signed a Master License agreement with the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU).
Hang Seng launches smartphone payment app in Hong Kong
Hang Seng Bank has announced the launch of its own digital wallet in Hong Kong.
World’s first physical precious metals exchange launched in Singapore
New trading platform by Singapore Precious Metals Exchange (SGPMX) allows existing customers to trade physical bullion among each other. The exchange tries to address the growing demand for physical trading of precious metals among private investors, amidst Singapore’s ambition of becoming a gold hub.
Singapore cuts down on tax evasion
In effect of anti-tax evasion measures announced last October, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) classifies some forms of tax avoidance as “predicated offences”.
Implementation of EMV cards in India is put on hold
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to delay a directive for Indian banks to issue EMV standard cards by June 30.
Gemalto partners with Chunghwa Telecom for NFC trial
Taiwanese network operator Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) has chosen Gemalto's UpTeq NFC SIM software to provide security for its NFC payment programme.
Reserve Bank of India receives 26 applications for licences
The Reserve Bank of India has announced it received 26 applications for banking licences, including applicants from Tata, India's largest business group.
Significant improvement in Japan’s consumer confidence: MasterCard Index
Bi-annual survey conducted by MasterCard indicates largest improvement in consumer confidence in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Emerging markets are most optimistic given the stable economic growth in Asia-Pacific.
OCBC’s Blue Chip Investment Plan to attract novice investors
New regular savings plan by OCBC is centred around equities and targets young working adults. By making investing in blue-chip stocks more affordable for this segment, the bank aims to engage the increasing interest of Singaporean investors in the equity market.
Shayne Nelson to step down as CEO of StanChart Private Bank
CEO of Standard Chartered Private Bank to resign and head Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD.
Wealth industry in “huge state of flux”: PwC
The global private banking and wealth management industry is in "a huge state of flux" which is set to continue for the next couple of years, PwC has warned in its biennial survey.
Contactless payments are on the rise in New Zealand
A survey has found that contactless and mobile phone based payments are being favoured by 18 to 34 year olds in New Zealand, with 50% preferring this form of payment.
Customers' happy swapping personal data for benefits - Infosys
Bank customers around the world are happy for their personal data to be used by their bank in return for targeted offers and other rewards, according to a study from Infosys.
KBank to launch personalised ATMs
Thai bank Kasikornbank (KBank) is to roll out a new ATM solution that will enable KBank customers to personalise their ATM experience.
VietinBank selects Yalamanchili’s payment processing software for prepaid card
Payments software provider Yalamanchili has been selected by Vietnamese bank VietinBank to provide the payment processing software for its E-Fast On Visa Prepaid Card.
500 ABN Amro private bankers reach certified ‘Trusted advisor’ status
In an effort to enhance the financial competency in private banking, ABN Amro’s ‘Trusted Adviser’ programme aims to develop participants’ understanding of industry trends, risk management, and investment products, while also honing their skills in client engagement and communication.
Surging equities in North America bring back the crown jewels
The latest World Wealth Report 2013 by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management showed that North America re-conquered the crown as the largest HNW market with 3.73m. Nonetheless this may just be a temporary success given the outstanding equity performance in the US, and Asia-Pacific expected to get back the lead by 2015 at the latest.
American Express to launch credit card in India with Payback
American Express Banking Corp plans to launch a co-branded credit card with India's largest loyalty programme Payback.
Axis Bank opens its 2,000th outlet
Axis Bank has today opened its 2,000th branch at Ahmedgarh in Punjab.
ANZ bank sued over unfair penalty fees
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has been named as the first target in a class action style law suit being taken by Auckland barrister Andrew Hooker.
Standard Chartered to provide a unified user experience with redesigned website
Standard Chartered recently revealed a new and improved consumer banking website in India that seeks to provide a superior and more unified customer experience across its digital channels.
NFC technology poses threat for consumers’ financial security in Asia-Pacific
The mobile commerce industry’s adoption of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology attracts a growing number of hackers in Asia to potentially exploit the new platform and its premature security system.
CBA launches Essential Super to enter the market for retirement funds
In light of the superannuation ruling effective from January 2014, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) devises Essential Super as an authorised MySuper account option for their customers.
CyberSource provides DX.com with fraud solution
DX.com, an online store based in China, is using the Decision Manager solution from e-commerce payment management provider CyberSource to strengthen its fraud management capabilities online.
Barclays launch online money management tools
Barclays is to roll out it's 'money tools' software, an online money management tool to all of its customers.
Employed advisers may be personally liable for breaches and face high fines post-FOFA
Employed financial advisers in Australia could be personally liable for Best Interests Duty breaches post-Future of Financial Advice (FOFA), and could be liable for up to A$200,000 in fines, regardless of whether or not they are the licensee, once FoFA reforms kick in, according to Charmian Holmes, solicitor director at The Fold Legal.
Singapore regulator to reprimand banks on rate rigging: report
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to reprimand banks in the city-state following an 11-month review into how benchmark interest rates are set, Bloomberg reported citing five people with knowledge of the matter.
CommBank launch online support forum
Commonwealth bank of Australia (CommBank) has announced it is to launch an online forum called Support Community as part of a wider website revamp.
China UnionPay and China Mobile collaborate to launch NFC payment platform
China UnionPay and China Mobile, the nation's largest mobile operator, have joined forces to launch a near field communication (NFC) payments system that will enable consumers to make contactless payments at participating merchants.
Visa partners leading mPOS Providers to propel mobile payment acceptance
Visa announced agreements with three leading mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) providers, iZettle, SumUp and SSCP Group’s Swiff to have their mobile acceptance hardware and software tested and approved for use with Visa payments.
MasterCard to deploy contactless terminals in Japan
MasterCard plans to install 410,000 PayPass-enabled point of sale (POS) terminals throughout Japan over the next three years.
Banks use of social media slows - Efma and Wipro
The use of social media by banks around the world has come to a 'plateau' according to a new report by Efma and Wipro.
RBS to shut branches in India
The Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 23 of its 31 branches in India after an agreement to sell its Indian retail and commercial banking assets to HSBC fell through.
India's Central Bank moves to protect cardholder info
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's central bank, has mandated that banks in India implement additional authentication for all card transactions and introduce security measures to safeguard their customers against fraud.
Dah Sing Life Assurance selects eBaoTech solution for life insurance operations
Hong Kong-based Dah Sing Life Assurance (DSLA) has deployed eBaoTech Corporation’s life insurance policy administration system, known as eBaoTech LifeSystem Suite, for its traditional and unit-linked life insurance operations.
Samsung Wallet rolls-out in Korea and launches beta in the US
Mobile company Samsung has launched its mobile wallet for android phones, Samsung Wallet, with an initial rollout in Korea.
Square expands into Japan
US company Square has expanded overseas by launching its mobile credit card reader and tablet POS register apps in Japan.
Welcome and Aima team up with CommBank to create loyalty scheme
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) reveals loyalty offers in association with Welcome Real-time (Welcome) and Aima.
Evolving Business Models in Asian Wealth Management
The private banking industry has gone through tremendous change in the last ﬁve years after the ﬁnancial crisis shattered client trust and it became obvious that the traditional private banking business model lacked sustainability in crisis times.
Mountaineers to test Standard Chartered app on Mount Everest
Mountaineers Horacio Galanti and Horacio Cunietti are to test Standard Chartered's mobile banking apps as they ascend Mount Everest.
Hanwha Life selects eBaoTech LifeSystem for Indonesia business
South Korea-based Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Ltd. has implemented eBaoTech Corporation’s life insurance policy administration system, known as eBaoTech LifeSystem Suite, for its new business in Indonesia.
Techcombank to adopt ATM solution
Techcombank, Vietnam's second largest bank by assets, will be adopting a new ATM solution created by software company SunGard.
HSBC to sell interest in Hana HSBC Life Insurance
HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), has agreed to divest its 50% less one share in Hana HSBC Life Insurance Company Limited to Hana Financial Group Inc.
Maybank targets high-net worth users with exclusive Man U-branded Visa card
Malaysia's largest bank by assets, Maybank is targeting high-net worth consumers with its newly-launched Manchester United (MU)-branded card, the Visa Infinite.
Cazenove Capital opens Hong Kong office
A month on from its sale to Schroders, Cazenove Capital has opened its Hong Kong office after receiving its licence from the Securities and Futures Commission.
Indian government promotes e-payments for financial inclusion
In an effort to push India's cash-based economy towards electronic payment systems, the Indian government and private investors are providing subsidies and capital funding to companies offering cashless payment methods. The aim is to boost financial inclusion.
South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce Bank implements Temenos software
Temenos, a banking software solutions vendor, has announced that South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce Bank in Bangladesh has begun using its T24 program as its core banking software.
Taiwan set for NFC launch as five banks await regulatory approval
Five major Taiwanese banks expect to receive approval from regulators that will allow them to issue mobile credit cards for use in NFC phones.
State Bank of India launches pre-paid card aimed at unbanked
India's largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI) , has launched a pre-paid card as an alternative to providing bank accounts to unbanked consumers in India.
Customers willing to use virtual communication - Cisco
In a recent survey carried out by Cisco, internet business solutions group found that a large majority of customers are comfortable with the increasing use of virtual communications within banking.
World retail banking report 2013 released
The tenth annual world retail banking report (WRBR) reveals perceptions of 18,000 customers in 35 markets globally.
MasterCard & AmEx increase data sales to marketers
Aggregated data from credit card purchases are increasingly being used for direct marketing, according to ConsumerAffairs.com, a consumer news and advocacy organisation.
Telenor launches mobile savings product in Pakistan
Telenor Pakistan, in partnership with Tameer Bank, has announced the launch of the country's first mobile savings product, Khushaal Munafa, designed to let customers earn interest on savings using their mobile phones.
China will launch mobile payment standard in 2013
Chai Hongfeng, executive VP of the banking network China UnionPay has announced that a specification for a Chinese mobile payment standard has been drafted, and could be announced within the year.
Vodafone and ICICI Bank launch Mobile Money Service in India
Vodafone has teamed up with ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank, to launch M-Pesa in India, mobile money transfer and payment service.
Visa set to launch m-payments platform in Pakistan
Visa is set to launch its own mobile financial services platform in Pakistan. The product will use VisaNet technology and function on an 'interoperability' model - a first in Pakistan's mobile banking market.
Vodafone plans to launch M-Pesa in Myanmar
Vodafone hopes to bring the M-Pesa mobile payments technology to Myanmar if it wins a bid to operate a mobile network in the South East Asian country.
Accenture launches new multi-channel banking software
Accenture has launched a software solution designed to further customer access to multichannel interactions and personalised offerings from their bank.
Alipay launches sound wave m-payments
Alipay has launched a payment system in the Beijing subway that uses sound waves to connect smartphones with ticketing machines.
Citigroup’s private banking division reports 5% rise in Q1 revenue
Citigroup’s private banking division has reported revenue of US$629 million for the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 5% from the prior year period.
China's Tencent launches online payments service in Taiwan
Chinese internet company Tencent has joined forces with Taiwan-based E.SUN Bank to provide the Tenpay online payment service, which enables mainland internet users to buy products from Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises.
Sun Life, Khazanah complete acquisition of CIMB Aviva
Sun Life Financial Inc. and Khazanah Nasional Berhad have completed the acquisition of CIMB Aviva Assurance Berhad, a Malaysian life insurance company, and CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad, a Malaysian takaful company (together, the company) MYR1.80bn ($597.4m), following regulatory approvals in Malaysia and Canada.
Twitter shuts down in-site payment option shortly after launch
Within hours of launching, a Twitter in-stream payments service from start-up Ribbon has been shut down.
China Mobile upgrades consumers to NFC
China Everbright Bank and China Mobile's e-commerce subsidiary have joined forces on the operator's mobile wallet service. You Feng, gm of China Mobile's e-commerce operations division, said that China Mobile subscribers will be able to exchange their current SIM cards for SIM cards supporting mobile payments.
DBS Bank and Capital One offer the best mobile Apps
DBS Bank and Capital One have taken the top honours in a review of apps offered for mobile devices by private banks.
Kalixa launches complete payment ecosystem
Kalixa Group is set to roll-out integrated mPOS, e-wallet and acceptance products across Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Virtual Piggy joins forces with Oracle Ecommerce Platform
The kids' e-commerce solution Virtual Piggy has joined forces with global developer of business software and hardware systems Oracle. Integrating with Oracle's ATG Web Commerce platform, the youth-friendly payment solution will be available to all Oracle merchants.
iWallet could be underway
Recent patent filings by Apple have sparked rumors that the company is working on an electronic payment system and app, dubbed iWallet.
Bank of Melbourne opens its 70th branch
April will see the unveiling of the 70th branch opened by the Bank of Melbourne since its launch in 2011.
PBI Greater China Awards 2013: Nominations close 3 May
Private Banker International, the oldest-established journal of wealth management, is pleased to open nominations for its third annual Greater China Awards.
The TED of Banking” is back
Next Bank Asia returns in 2013, coming to Hong Kong on April 16 & 17, 2013
SBI adopt self service ATMs
State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest bank by assets, profits and deposits, has ordered 600 ATM machines to be deployed across India.
MasterCard and Alibaba Group sign MOU
Alibaba Group, the largest e-Commerce company in China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with MasterCard.
Hong Kong announces plans for NFC payments infrastructure
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is forming a working group, under the auspices of the Hong Kong Association of Banks, to create a set of standards for the introduction of NFC payments in Hong Kong.
New Zealand bank switching doubles
The number of New Zealand bank customers switching accounts nearly doubled in 2012 due to increased advertising by banks in response to ANZ's dissolution of the National Bank brand, according to research by Australian-based research company Roy Morgan.
Ding Ding Coupon launches device for mobile coupon validation
Ding Ding Coupon, China's largest mobile coupon application service, has launched its wireless Smart Reader system. The Smart Reader is a portable and shock resistant device, which allows employees to easily and instantly validate and redeem coupons.
Barclays banker investigated in Singapore for stealing client assets
Barclays is working with Singapore police to investigate whether one of its former private bankers, working with Non-Resident Indians, stole client assets.
DBS Group expands head of wealth management's role
Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings has expanded the role of its head of wealth management, Tan Su Shan, and named her the group head of wealth management as well as consumer banking, effective 15 April 2013 onwards.
Deutsche Bank Asset & Wealth Management appoints new Asia-Pacific COO
Deutsche Bank Asset & Wealth Management (AWM) has appointed Venkatesh Narasiah as chief operating officer (COO) for its Asia-Pacific unit.
Smartphone shopping skyrockets in the Asia-Pacific
Computers have lost serious ground to smartphones, when it comes to online shopping in Asia, according to the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey.
PayPal adopts e-payments code of conduct in Australia
PayPal has signed up to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission's (ASIC) ePayments code of conduct, becoming the first major e-commerce brand to adopt the guidelines.
China Life launches China Life Xinyu pension insurance package
China Life officially launchedthe"China Life Xinyu pension insurance package" in Nanjing.
South Korean banks hit by cyber attack
South Korean authorities are investigating a cyber attack which brought down the servers of two major banks on 20 March.
RBI to probe sale of gold coins of all active banks
The Reserve Bank of India has widened its investigation into Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank to include wealth management divisions and the sale of gold coins.
HSBC refuses comment on job cuts to private banking unit
Europe’s biggest bank by market value could cut thousands of jobs this year, as part of a strategic restructuring plan.
JCB and China CITIC Bank unveil card specifically for women
Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) has partnered with China CITIC Bank to launch a new credit card specifically designed to appeal to women.
China introduces stricter e-invoicing regulations
China looks set to introduce new rules for its online invoice management system, aiming to prevent tax evasion and standardise the industry.
China mainland: A bumpy road for private banks
China has witnessed a steady rise in the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in its mainland.However, despite their sturdy efforts, private banks seem to struggle in capturing this growing audience.
Big data concerns lose banks customers
Banks top the list of organisations consumers do not trust with personal data, according to research by Avaya and Sabio.
BNP Paribas turn to Asia and America for wealth business growth
With its net inflows improving dramatically, reaching a growth of $9.8 billion, BNP Paribas is ready to target super rich individuals in Asia and America to bolster its wealth business.
CBA launches Kaching payment app for Facebook
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia's second-largest bank by assets, has launched its Kaching mobile payment app for Facebook.
New Zealand m-banking continues to grow
The proportion of smartphone users in New Zealand who use their phone for online banking transactions has almost doubled in the past year, according to a report from analysts Roy Morgan.
Standard Chartered Private Bank publishes a two digit growth
In 2012, the British private bank saw its tenth consecutive year of growth, in both income and profit. Standard Chartered Private Bank also increased its assets under management (AuM).
CBA seeks to understand consumer spending
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) has launched a website that collects everyday transactional data from consumers.
HSBC profits fall in 2012
Profit before tax at UK headquartered HSBC fell by 6% in 2012 to $20.6bn, from $21.8bn in 2011.
Digital is already on top - NAB executive general manager
Customers of Australia's largest bank by assets, NAB (National Australia Bank), are expected to make more transactions though online banking and apps than they do in branch by May says Adam Bennett, NAB's executive general manager.
Visa and Samsung strike a deal at MWC
Visa has partnered with Samsung on NFC technology, aiming to make mobile payments simpler for consumers and financial institutions.
Thai life insurance stays on growth trajectory
According to Thai Life Assurance Association, the year ahead will be yet another rosy one, with a projected growth of 17.4% to THB459bn ($154bn) this year due to government tax rebates, regulator support and private company expansion.
Bank of China to expand private banking operations across China
The Bank of China (BOC) has ambitious plans to expand its private banking operations to cover China's 32 provinces within three years and to strengthen its foothold in HK and Singapore.
New bank licenses to bank in rural India
India may soon issue more bank licenses in a push to expand financial services into rural areas, where most of the villages do not have banking facilities.
Malaysia’s HNWIs to double by 2015
Malaysia's high-net-worth individuals will more than double from 32,000 currently to 68,000 in 2015. Their net worth will face a similar spike from US$140bn to US$330bn
Electronic paymentsdrive economic growth
According to a study conducted for Visa by Moody's Analytics, the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added to more than US$470bn cumulatively to economies in Asia-Pacific between 2008 and 2012.
Open source ? open door
While global banks shifted towards open-source software a decade ago, this shift is only just starting in Asia's domestic and regional banks. Thomas Zink talks with Rich Feldmann and Damien Wong from Red Hat about the potential benefits and why some banks still won't let go
Fast, nimble and digital: SMEs and why it is time for banks to get up to speed
In the last few years, digitisation has revolutionised the way SMEs do business. Parallel to this, what SMEs need from their financial service providers have changed accordingly as well, marking a new chapter in SME Banking. Yet despite impressive digital strategies and many new channels to keep with these needs, many banks have yet to figure out how best to proceed says Tim Hinton, Global Head, SME Banking at Standard Chartered.
Zeus Trojan hits Japanese banks once again
The Zeus trojan has made its appearance in Japan again. It steals vital personal information, such as passwords, whenever consumers access bank's websites.
Syndicate Bank targets students with new smart card
India's Syndicate Bank recently launched smart cards for students of Karunya University in Coimbatore. Students will be able to use the card in canteens for now, but it may be upgraded to allow for fee collection and other payments in the future.
Shinsei bank enhances overseas remittance offering
Japan's Shinsei Bank announced plans to launch a new overseas remittance service for individuals and businesses. "Go Remit" will be launched in March 2013.
NAB to launch new online payment capability
A partnership between the National Australia Bank (NAB) and UnionPay International (UPI), a subsidiary of China UnionPay, will soon see the launch of a new online payment capability. It is part of NAB's broader strategy to increase the acceptance and use of China UnionPay cards at Australian merchants.
PayPal stops personal payments in Singapore
PayPal will put an end to personal payments in Singapore on February 20, online media outlet TechCrunch has revealed.
HDFC Bank launches 'young professional' credit card with Times Internet
HDFC Bank, the second-largest Indian private sector bank by assets, and internet network Times Internet have partnered to launch Times Card, a co-branded credit card aimed at young professionals in India.
Lombard Odier and KB Kookmin Bank launch partnership
Lombard Odier and KB Kookmin Bank have launched a partnership to match the Swissmanager’s expertise with the South Korean bank’s client base
BNP Paribas to expand wealth unit in Asia
BNP Paribas is to expand its wealth management businesses in Asia.
Philippine tycoon's banks merge
Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Allied Bank, both controlled by tycoon Lucio Tan, announced their merger - with PNB to become the surviving entity.
BNZ launches YouMoney PFM tool
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), New Zealand's second-largest bank by assets, has launched YouMoney, an online personal financial management (PFM) tool designed to be more customisable and intuitive for customers.
Visa targets developing countries with new mobile money platform
Visa has launched a mobile money platform, offering financial services to the unbanked in developing countries.
Indian banks to be responsible for counterfeit notes in ATMs
Following complaints of counterfeit currency notes from ATMs, the Reserve Bank of India announced a law that makes the holder of counterfeit currency responsible for it.
Mandiri, Citibank ink distribution deal for mutual funds
Indonesia’s third-largest fund management firm, Mandiri Manajemen Investasi signed an agreement with Citibank turning the local unit into the sales agent for two of its mutual fund products: Mandiri Investa Equity Movement (MIEM) and Mandiri Investa Pasar Uang (MPU).
NAB launches Money Tracker PFM tool
National Australia Bank (NAB), Australia's largest-bank by assets, has launched Money Tracker, an online personal financial management tool (PFM) designed to make it easier for customers to manage their money.
ME Bank launches mini workplace bank
Australia's online-only lender ME Bank has launched a workplace banking kiosk at Telstra's contact centre in Melbourne.
Thai banks to pursue Asia's high-net-worth
The high-net-worth (HNW) population in Asia has been steadily rising as the balance of economic growth continues to tilt in favour of Asia. In Thailand, the number is estimated to have crossed the 50,000 HNWI mark.
Visa maps out plan to shift liability for fraudulent ATM transactions
Visa recently announced its plan to shift accountability for counterfeit fraud transactions to the party - acquirer or issuer - that has not adopted EMV chip technology. If an EMV chip card is used at an ATM that cannot accept EMV chip-enabled cards, the ATM acquirer will bear the cost for counterfeit fraud. Currently card issuers bear the liability for fraudulent ATM transactions.
Visa and Myanmar Oriental Bank spearhead first payment service for POS transactions in Myanmar
Visa cardholders will now be able to use their Visa cards for transactions at certain merchants in Myanmar.
ICICI Bank set to roll out mobile money platform in India
A partnership between India's ICICI bank and Aircel, a telecom service provider, will soon see the materialization of a mobile banking service, Mobile Money, in India.
CBA launches new online investment platform
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has launched MyWealth, an online platform that enables customers to manage their financial portfolio.
BoAML brings reporting service to APAC
Bank of America Merril Lynch's (BoAML) has taken its reporting service Cash Pro Accelerate to the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
‘Investors should not shy away from Spain’: Societe Generale
It is time for private bankers to advise clients to take more risks and turn to southern Europe and China as tail risks recede, according to Societe Generale Private Banking (SGPB) Hambros chief investment officer Eric Verleyen.
Julius Baer finalises acquisition of Merrill, begins integration
Swiss private bank Julius Baer has announced the finalisation of its acquisition of Merrill Lynch's international wealth management business (IWM) outside the US from Bank of America (BofA).
Western Union extends prepaid reach
Western Union is expanding its prepaid business, through a new project in Latin America and a partnership with tax refund specialists Advent Financial.
Westpac implement new Oracle database solutions
Westpac, Australia's largest banking group by branches, is targeting what it terms as "significant" cost savings over the next five years as a result of implementing Oracle's database solutions to help manage customer data.
Maybank "Superman" debit card to woo young adults
Maybank announced a new co-brand debit card featuring superhero "Superman". In collaboration with Warner Bros., the card will be made available in the first quarter this year.
Hong Kong banking industry steps up security of ATM services
Hong Kong ups ATM card security requiring customers to activate foreign ATM withdrawals in advance.
Eximbank pioneers contactless payments in Vietnam
Eximbank, in collaboration with MasterCard, has revealed the roll-out of contactless cards in Vietnam. Customers will now be able to enjoy a fast, secure, and convenient alternative to cash for their daily small-ticket purchases.
HNWI insights: The higher the assets, the more advisors
High-net-worth investors have more advisors than those with fewer assets and their relationships continue to grow, according to Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based financial research firm.
Chinese regulators call for unified standards for wealth management products
Common standards and regulations should be used when it comes to wealth management products sold by non-banking institutions, said a senior banking regulator. He forewarned that failing to do so will generate risks and cause a shock this year.
China's UHNW population growing fast
The number of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals in China is anticipated to rise by 9% in 2013 forecasts Wealth-X. This trend is reflected by the tangible rise in the sales of luxury goods and private jets, which is considered to be a status symbol among the wealthy.
Citibank India launches new mobile payment solution
Citibank India (Citi) has launched a new mobile payment solution that it claims will give customers the opportunity to make payments through their debit and credit cards using a small device.
L&T Finance in talks to buy Morgan Stanley's wealth unit in India
As a part of its expansion strategy, India-based L&T Finance is negotiating to buy the Indian wealth management business of Morgan Stanley.
YES BANK kick-starts online remittance facility
India's YES BANK, has launched YES Remit, an online remittance platform for non resident Indians (NRIs) based in the GCC, United Kingdom, and countries in the Euro zone.
Citibank's reveals next-generation self service terminal
"Citibank Express", is Citi's next-generation self service machine rolled out in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, allowing customers to carry out most of their financial transactions without having to visit a branch.
Cambodia’s Acleda Bank upgrades to Temenos core banking system
Cambodia's Acleda Bank is set to upgrade its core banking system with a new Temenos system to build the scale to tap the country's huge unbanked population.
Bank Muamalat to extend services at Pos Malaysia branches
Bank Muamalat Malaysia has revealed plans to roll out some of its products at certain branches of Pos Malaysia, as part of a strategy to expand its customer reach and client base.
Julius Baer enlists former Merrill Lynch execs for integration committee
Julius Baer has created a committee of former Merrill Lynch‘s senior executives to support the integration of the US bank’s international wealth management business into the Swiss private bank’s operations outside the United States.
UBS launches operations in China
UBS AG has launched its locally-incorporated unit in China, thereby facilitating the conduct of yuan businesses in key areas such as wealth management, Reuters reported.
Indonesian credit card issuers brace themselves for a tough year ahead
New regulations by the central bank contribute to the bleak outlook for the credit card industry in the year ahead, just as a big player such as Citibank Indonesia is set to re-enter the market.
Woori to spin off card division in the face of escalating competition
Woori Financial Group will be spinning off its credit-card unit in hopes of boosting the potential of its credit card business and creating closer synergy across its organizations. The major reorganization is expected to be completed by March.
Online banking fraud cases in Malaysia on the wane
Losses due to online banking fraud in Malaysia dropped from RM3.4m to RM3.2m in 2012, as a result of safeguard measures taken by banks for e-banking services.
Hong Leong Bank rolls out customizable credit card
With Hong Leong Bank's latest Wise Credit Card, consumers are now able to enjoy up to 10% cash back benefit for up to 10 reward categories.
Bank overhaul in Myanmar expected
Myanmar is set to reform its weakened banking system, in a bid to become Asia's next economic star.
ANZ New Zealand completes core banking migration
ANZ New Zealand has successfully migrated its core banking system with the help of FIS onto a single FIS core system.
Vietnamese banks hesitant to raise ATM fees
Vietnam's central bank has recently allowed the charging of fees for every automated teller machine (ATM) transaction. Not every bank will be jumping at the opportunity to do so, however, for fear for losing customers' patronage.
Mobile banking to exceed one billion users in 2017
According to research firm, Juniper Research, the mobile banking user base is expected to expand to more than one billion by the end of 2017. An earlier prediction this year was 590 million.
Kbank launches universal debit card for young adults
Kasikorbank is to issue a universal debit card targeted at young customers aged between 18 and 35, to meet their changing needs.
NCR partners with PayPal on NCR’s mobile solutions
Point-of-Sale manufacturer NCR and eBay owned PayPal have signed an agreement to integrate NCR’s innovative mobile solutions for hospitality and retail with PayPal’s digital payment technology.
Majority UHNWI do not cede control to advisors: Study
The more the wealth, the more will the person be in control of his assets, not ceding control to advisors, says a new study by The Institute for Private Investors (IPI).
Western Union expands into Myanmar
Western Union has launched Western Union Money Transfer services at six banks in Myanmar, allowing Myanmarese and residents to receive international money remittances from more than 200 countries and territories in minutes.
HSBC and Intel collaborate to pilot first cross-border sweeping structure in China
HSBC and Intel are the first foreign organisations approved to establish an automated, cross-border, sweeping structure in China. The scheme will allow multinational companies to centrally manage their foreign currencies by connecting their onshore and offshore cash management structures.
Amex cuts 5,400 jobs
American Express (Amex) has cut an estimated 5,400 jobs, predominantly in its travel business area. The company has explained this sector has been "fundamentally reinvented" by the digital revolution.
HSBC's stake sale of Ping An in jeopardy?
A multi-billion dollar deal concerning HSBC's sale of its stake in Ping An faces a high possibility of falling through. The collapse of the deal is expected to aversely impact the Britain branch of HSBC, as it would impede its efforts to sell its non-core assets as part of a broad restructuring plan to improve profitability.
China's payment card market doubled since 2007
According to a study by Retail Banking Research (RBR), the number of payment cards in China has doubled to 3bn by the end of 2011. This exponential increase suggests that the Chinese cards market will become increasingly valuable to card issuers.
DBS sees normalisation of risk
Singapore's DBS expects a normalisation of risk premiums on equities, given the fact that things do not look as grim as they used to and many of the shock scenarios, such as a breakdown of a major international bank, the fiscal cliff in the US, an EMU breakup, or a hard landing in China, have not come true.
xpWallet launches bank integration system
Indian mobile wallet provider xpWallet has launched its mWallet Bank Integration System. The product is aimed at mobile network operators, banks and merchants who can use it to offer customers the opportunity to manage funds via their mobile device, integrating a bank account to a mWallet without visiting a branch.
China’s regulator stifles sales of third-party investment products
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has issued a circular to tighten controls on the sales of third-party investment products, such as insurance, trust products and investment funds, through bank branches following the Hua Xia Bank incident.
User-friendliness the new doctrine of CIMB’s revamped internet banking proposition
Malaysia's CIMB Bank launched its revamped internet portal, CIMB Clicks, providing customers with an improved and user-friendly online experience.
Etisalat partners with United Bank to expands payment gateway service to Pakistan
Etisalat, a telecom operators in the Middle East, made its entry into a new international market in partnership with leading retail bank United Bank by extending Etisalat Payment Gateway services to Pakistan.
Richmond Fiduciary Group opens office in China
Guernsey-headquartered Richmond Fiduciary Group has opened its own representative office in Shanghai, China, three years since the Chairman of Richmond, Alan Chick, made his first visit to the region to explore the potential of the Asian market.
Vietnam to launch mobile banking service
Vietnamese payment switch operator Smartlink has launched a mobile banking service with Singaporean vendor Tagit. The latter said its Mobeix platform will be available to over 40 million card holders.
SBI launches new mobile wallet for youths, migrant workers
The State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a new mobile-phone-accessible prepaid application that offers a range of facilities such as funds transfer, balance inquiry and utility payment.
Myanmar ATMs open to Visa cardholders
Visa cardholders can now access about 90 ATMs operated by Co-operative Bank (CB) and Kanbawza Bank (KB) across major tourist regions in Myanmar.
ABC to whet customers' appetite with new launch
Agricultural Bank of China's (ABC) has launched a card that offers its holders more convenience when dining - from ordering meals, to keeping entertained during restaurant wait times, to paying their bills.
Bank of China opens Middle East outlet
Bank of China (BOC), China's second largest lender by assets, has opened a subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates.
ICBC to open a branch in Brazil
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest lender by market capitalisation, has been granted permission from Brazilian regulators to open a subsidiary in Brazil.
MasterCard claim 2012 Contactless expansion
MasterCard have revealed its PayPass contactless figures for the past year. Since January 2012 growth in PayPass-enabled cards has risen more than 50% with retail acceptance doubling in the same period in over 255,000 locations across Europe.
Julius Baer to accelerate management structure realignment
The Swiss private banking group Julius Baer is bringing forward the restructure of its management team to be effective as of 1 January 2013, one month before formal completion of Merrill Lynch’s overseas businesses.
Woman's christmas spending most generous - (on themselves)
As men are setting aside most of their Christmas budget on gifts for the significant other, women are intending to spend most on themselves, says a UOB survey.
Maybank set to launch five new private banking centres in 2013
Maybank is set to expand its high networth and affluent banking segment in Malaysia, with five new private banking centres and eight new lounges in the pipeline for 2013.
MasterCard to help Taiwanese manage shopping expenses
MasterCard holders in Taiwan will soon be able to manage their online spending more effectively via a new platform which enables them to control how, when and where their account may be used.
JPMorgan shutting Malaysia retail banking operations
JPMorgan has announced plans to wind down its retail banking operations in Malaysia as part of its global strategy to place a greater emphasis on the business in its home market.
ASB Bank questions security of PoLi online payments
New Zealand's ASB Bank has issued a warning over the security of Melbourne online payments intermediary POLi due to "serious security and fraud risks".
VeriFone partners Bank of China and China Mobile for NFC payments
POS manufacturer VeriFone has partnered with China Mobile and Bank of China on NFC payment and marketing services in Shen Yang, China.
CIMB launch Facebook banking service
Malaysia based bank CIMB Bank has launched a banking application on Facebook. OctoPay allows customers to make transactions and share money online using the social networking site.
Online bankers more loyal and more valuable - Inuit
People who bank online or on their mobile are more loyal, more valuable and happier with their service according to new research from Inuit.
Merrill Lynch sells Japanese joint venture stake
Bank of America is selling its 49% stake in wealth management joint venture Mitsubishi UFJ Merrill Lynch PB Securities to Japan’s largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
Biometrics-based bank accounts to be launched in India
Visa has partnered with five Indian banks on a service that uses a biometric national identity system based on biometrics to verify and authorise payments.
Standard Chartered launches Islamic online banking platform
Standard Chartered Bank has launched a Shariah compliant version of its online banking platform, Straight2Bank, to meet the needs of its Islamic clients.
Westpac to replace bank tellers with machines
Westpac will be replacing counter staff with machines at its banking braches in hopes of encouraging more customers to conduct the more simplified operation through machines.
CIMB embraces crowdsourcing to attract new customers
CIMB has launched a Facebook-integrated bank deposit campaign that harnesses the potential of crowd-sourcing to attract more Malaysians to open a savings account.
Virtual Piggy partners with WorldPay to expand global reach
Children's e-commerce service Virtual Piggy has partnered with Merchant acquirer WorldPay with the aim of expanding its ecommerce service internationally.
Singapore top destination choice for IMWIs
Singapore is the most desired place for internationally-mobile wealthy individuals (IMWI) to reside, due to the country's high quality of life, political stability, modern infrastructure and education system, found a joint research by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
Australia's wealth regulations may drive clients away
New industry regulations may not only cripple productivity, but also stifle innovation, chief executives of Australia's wealth management companies warn.
Huaxia Bank may face charges over selling unauthorised wealth products
Huaxia Bank has been held liable for the sale of unauthorised wealth management products issued by a third-party investment company, as analysts warn of such dangers facing the sector.
HSBC replaces global private banking head after 15 months
Peter Boyles is the new chief executive of HSBC’s global private banking (GPB) business with immediate effect – the world’s seventh largest private bank.
JCB, CUP card holders to have access to ATMs in Myanmar
Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) and China Union Pay (CUP) bank card holders will be able to use their cards at automatic teller machines of the 17 private banks across Myanmar by early 2013.
HSBC announces Ping An's buyer
HSBC has agreed to sell its stake in China's Ping An Insurance Group to Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and CEO of Charoen Pokphand, for $9.4bn, reaping a $2.6bn profit.
Foreign banks in the Philippines must go public
Foreign-controlled banks in the Philippines are now required to go public, listing at least 10% of their capital on the Philippine Stock Exchange, demands the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
CitiBank India hosts online shopping festival
Citibank India hosted its first ever 24-hour online shopping festival on Wednesday in an effort to boost the concept of online shopping in the country.
Australian banks help customers get out of debt
Australia's big four banks are reforming their services strategy to help customers struggling with debts, demonstrating they value customer goodwill over profits.
AmBank acquires MBF Cards
AmBank Group has acquired Malaysian credit and charge card company MBF Cards for RM623.4m ($204.7m), with the transaction approval of Bank Negara Malaysia.
Prudential Financial marks JV launch in China
Prudential Financial has marked the opening of its joint life insurance venture with Fosun International in China.
China Unicom and China Merchants Bank launch NFC m-wallet
Telco China Unicom and China Merchants Bank have partnered on the release of a mobile wallet service for NFC enabled phones. The company made the announcement via the Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo.
Vontobel, ANZ sign MoU to serve Asia-Pacific's UHNW
Switzerland's Vontobel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Asia-Pacific bank ANZ to provide expertise in global investments, structured products and tools, client advisory and client processes to the private banking business of ANZ.
Maybank unveils all-in-one consumer banking solution
Maybank has unveiled a new all-in-one solution that enables customers to conveniently manage their daily finances - from transactions to savings, financing and insurance - via banking kiosks.
EZ-Link Amex prepaid card launches in Singapore
Singapore's EZ-Link has entered a tripartite relationship with American Express and Yalamanchili to launch a contactless and multi-functional prepaid card solution, targeting young adults in the country.
Credit Suisse slashes Singapore asset management roles
Credit Suisse has eliminated a number of roles in its asset management office in Singapore, after unveiling plans to merge its private banking and asset management divisions globally.
CommBank to launch Facebook banking app
Customers of Commonwealth Bank will soon be able to make payments via social media, with the bank's launch of a Facebook version of its Kaching mobile banking app in January 2013.
OCBC named Asia's Most Innovative Bank
Banking and Payments Asia announced the winners for its annual BPA Trailblazer Awards for 2012 at the Awards Gala Dinner on May 11th 2012 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore In its second year, the Trailblazer Awards have been acknowledged as one of Asias most trusted and innovative awards programmes for retail banking and payments
76% HNWI: web has big role in wealth creation
More than three-quarters of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) believe their engagement with digital technology and the internet has played a role in their wealth creation, new research suggests.
Will hiring corporate bankers benefit private banks?
Private banks in China are hiring former corporate bankers instead of wealth managers, as they change their strategy to meet the demands of the growing number of wealthy individuals in Asia.
ICICI Bank launches new private banking credit card
ICICI Bank has added a new premium card to its 'Gemstone Collection' of credit cards, to better cater to the lifestyle needs of the growing affluent consumer segment in India.
Women more risk-taking investors than men
Singaporean women are more risk risk-taking than their male counterparts when it comes to making investments, according to a new survey by Friends Provident International.
Barclays Bank expanding Asian wealth management team
Barclays Bank is expanding its wealth management team in Asia, given the growing number of wealthy Chinese clients looking to diversify their investments overseas.
Stability for South Korea
South Korea’s life sector is stable and underpinned by continued demand for insurance policies, rising risk awareness and increasing emphasis on prudent capital management, says Fitch Ratings.
Australia to launch new investor visa class to attract the super-rich
Australia is all set to launch a new visa class, called Significant Investor Visa, which permits HNWI to apply for a visa on the basis of investing US$5.2 million in government determined compliant investments.
RHB launches improved security token device
RHB Bank is first bank in Singapore to launch an 'improved' transaction signing token allowing customers to consolidate multiple security tokens from various banks in a single device.
Vodafone, Visa to bring NFC payments to Australia
Vodafone's customers will soon be able to make payments at Visa PayWave terminals using their near-field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones.
SCB steps up marketing campaign in Taiwan
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has rolled out a marketing plan to attract more customers, and plans to offer a string of new services targeted at small and medium enterprises in Taiwan.
UOB to acquire ING's Thai investment unit
ING has reached an agreement to sell its investment management business in Thailand to UOB Asset Management.
HSBC to sell Ping An Insurance stakes
HSBC is in talks to sell its $9.3 billion stake in China's Ping An Insurance, following 41 other disposals of its non-core businesses since 2011.
Equities to outperform bonds while investments rotate to Asia
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management predicts a great rotation out of bonds and into equities in 2013 and beyond – a suggestion that the cult of the equity could return.
Indonesian banks offering social media customer service
Dissatisfied banking and telecommunication consumers in Indonesia are now venting their disappointments via social channels and new technology, according to a new research.
ICBC expands footprint down under
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) officially opened its newest branch in Melbourne last week - its third branch in the country after Sydney and Perth.
Goldman Sachs pulls out of South Korea
Dwindling profits have forced Goldman Sachs Group to wind up its South Korean asset management unit in the next six months.
HDFC Bank launches mobile banking app in Hindi
India’s second-largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, has launched its mobile banking application in Hindi, with the aim of enabling customers to transact in a language “they are comfortable with”.
Credit Suisse confirms asset management and private banking merger
Credit Suisse is to combine its private banking and asset management divisions into a new unit, private banking and wealth management division, prompting a leadership reshuffle alongside further integration of its investment bank.
PayEase, CyberSource partner to protect Chinese domestic online payments
Chinese payment-service pioneer PayEase has signed a new agreement with CyberSource, a Visa company, for the provision of fraud management services to protect Chinese domestic online payments.
Social media – not a popularity contest
As private banks are increasingly taking to social networks, Private Banker International’s analysis of the thirty biggest private banks shows significant differences in the way wealth management divisions offer content to their clients. Elsa Buchanan takes a closer look.
Prudential partners with Thailand's Thanachart Bank
Prudential and Thanachart Bank have partnered in an exclusive 15-year deal to jointly develop their bancassurance business in Thailand.
AmEx launches new app to capture receipt information
American Express (AmEx) has launched a new app, ReceiptMatch, that uses the mobile phone’s onboard camera to snap and store receipts for later reconciliation with account statements.
BOC launches private banking services
Bank of China (Hong Kong) last week announced the launch of its private banking business targeting customers with at least $2m in investable assets to satisfy the increasing demand for private banking services in Asia and particularly in China.
Asia a wealth hotspot for expats
Asia has surpassed the Middle East as the region with the wealthiest expatriates, according to HSBC's latest Expat Explorer Survey.
Citi Singapore enables bill payments via SMS
Citibank’s (Citi) Singapore unit has launched a service that allows customers to pay their credit card bills via SMS.
Western Union partners with ChinaPay on direct RMB payments for university
Western Union is expanding its partnership with ChinaPay through a service which enables universities and higher education institutions to accept tuition fees in Chinese Renminbi (RMB).
VeriFone launches new mobile payment solution
Point-Of-Sale company Verifone has released SAIL EMV, a new platform that enables mobile merchants to accept payments through a chip-and-PIN solution for smartphone and tablet.
Credit Suisse sets up family office service in India
Credit Suisse has created a single family office service in India to cater to the country’s fast-growing ultra-high net worth and high net worth population.
UBank launches website for customers to compare spending
UBank, National Australia Bank’s (NAB) online-only subsidiary, has launched a website, PeopleLikeU, that pulls together anonymous transaction data to identify trends and allow visitors to compare their spending with that of their fellow Australians.
ICICI Bank partners Vodafone to launch M-Pesa in India
India’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, and mobile telecommunications group Vodafone India have partnered to launch M-Pesa mobile money transfer service in India.
BPA Trailblazer Awards 2013 - Blazing the trail with innovation
This marks the official start of the next round of the BPA Trailblazer Awards 2013. Let the quest to find Asia's most innovative banks continue.
Standard Chartered jumps in on Islamic banking growth opportunity in UAE, Bahrain
Standard Charted is speculated to be expanding its Islamic retail banking business in Bahrain and the UAE, just a few weeks after HSBC announced its intention to withdraw from the region.
Morgan Stanley to sell Indian wealth management business
Morgan Stanley may be selling its private wealth management business in India, confirming the trend of foreign banks pruning down on operations in the country and the region.
Hong Kong best financial centre, Singapore fastest-growing wealth centre
Hong Kong trumps Singapore as the world's top financial centre for the second consecutive year, while the latter retains its position in fourth place, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reports.
Future of ING’s Indian life business in question
Battery maker Exide Industries is reportedly seeking to buy out ING’s 26% stake in its Indian life insurance business.
StanChart Singapore launches security token embedded card
Standard Chartered Bank’s (StanChart) Singapore unit has launched a payment card featuring an embedded security token for online transactions.
Hang Seng partners with PCCW Mobile on NFC launch
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank and local mobile operator PCCW Mobile have struck a deal to work together in developing mobile payment services for the country.
China Mobile announces NFC rollout plans
China Mobile is to roll out NFC services across China in early 2013.
People moves in October 2012
Senior people moves in Asia Pacific in October and September 2012
IRS and US Treasury extend FATCA deadlines
The IRS has delayed some Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) implementation deadlines, as banks battle over the sweeping US tax law.
Allianz strikes ten-year Asia deal with HSBC
Allianz and HSBC have signed a ten-year exclusive bancassurance distribution agreement for life insurance in Asia, enabling Allianz to tap into major growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
ANZ and NCR agree five-year deal to ‘transform’ ATM network
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and US-headquartered self-service solution provider NCR have entered a five-year agreement with the aim of transforming the lender’s ATM network with “next generation” intelligent deposit ATMs.
AuMs flatline amongst Asia’s Top 20
Combined assets under management held by the Top 20 private banks in Asia-Pacific have flatlined in 2011 despite the continued growth of high net worth (HNW) investor numbers and assets in the region.
Report says wealthy ignore succession planning
A failure to communicate within families will be responsible for the loss of 90% of family fortunes within the next three generations, according to a new report.
Japanese NTT DOCOMO to expand NFC m-wallet globally
Japan's largest mobile carrier NTT DOCOMO has partnered with South Korea’s telecom company KT Corporation to create a cross-border NFC payment network, and with MasterCard to extend its NFC m-wallet service on a global scale.
India to allow e-KYC pre-paid cards
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has partnered with 20 banks in India as well as the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Visa to facilitate customer verification through Aadhar e-KYC, a new environment that will utilise the E-KYC APIs to allow citizens to avail different services without carrying any physical identification proof.
Consumers want active role in anti-fraud fight
Cardholders want to be more involved in the fight against fraud, according to a recent survey by Aite Group and ACI.
Japanese regulator slaps SocGen with suspension
Société Générale Private Banking Japan (SGPBJ) has been reprimanded by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (JFSA) and forced to suspend some of its private banking activities till the end of January.
London ranked top city for business and finance
London has been ranked as the best city in the world for business and finance in 2012, winning the top spot alongside New York.
Credit Suisse:global household wealth down 5.2%
Global household wealth dropped by 5.2% to $223trn from mid-2011 to mid- 2012 due to the economic downturn, according to the latest wealth report by Credit Suisse.
UOB to double SME lending
United Overseas Bank (UOB) aims to double loans to Southeast Asian SMEs by 2015 and expects strongest loan growth to come from Thailand and Indonesia.
ANZ to launch NFC payments in 2013
Australian ANZ launched a NFC payments field trial and announced plans to launch a commercial service in 2013. The small pilot project uses Samsung Galaxy S III Android phones.
Dip in Malaysian credit card numbers, but higher spending
While credit card numbers decrease, spending is on the rise driven by healthy domestic consumption. Industry figures revealed that the number of credit cards in the market fell 21% from 2009 to 2010, followed by a 4% drop from 2010 to 2011 and a 2% decrease this year.
Julius Baer: 1000 wealth management jobs at stake after Merrill takeover
Following the purchase of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's international wealth management business by Swiss private bank Julius Baer about 1,000 jobs may be at stake.
AIA Group to acquire ING’s insurance operations in Malaysia
AIA Group has agreed to acquire ING’s insurance subsidiaries in Malaysia for a cash consideration of €1.34bn (US$1.73bn).
Standard Life to open Singapore branch as part of Asian expansion
Standard Life is to expand its retail investment business in the Asian market by establishing a branch in Singapore.
Decline in WM M&A valuations set to continue
Wealth management mergers and acquisitions (M&A) valuations benchmark has fallen to 2% of assets under management (AUM), and looks set to drop further over the next 2 years.
$1.5bn to be invested in ANZ's channel overhaul
ANZ has announced plans of investing up to $1.5bn for a tech investment programme to “overhaul” its branch-based and digital distribution channels, in an attempt to “simplify products and services”.
FIS launches real-time payment network
US payment services provider FIS has launched a global real-time payment network. FIS said the PayNetsystem allows user to make instant money transfers across the world It can be used to make retail, commercial, e-commerce and person-to-person (P2P) transactions, as well as for billing.
WM websites still failing, new research shows
Wealth management and private banking websites are failing to attract clients, a new report has found.
Citi Korea launches ATMs for wheelchair users
Citibank Korea has launched new ATMs for wheelchair users that will first be installed and operated in three Citi branchesacross Seoul. The new ATMs are in line with Koreas CDATM Standards for Persons with Disabilities. According to Citi Korea, the first three ATMs will serve as part of a pilot test to see what further improvements can be made.
DBS Remix 2.0
The branch model was introduced only in October 2011 and has since revolutionised the banks youth strategy, turning the branch into a centre for financial education, events, and competitions, while offering financial services to the GenY and establishing a continuous dialogue with the segment The bank hopes to engage the student community in co-creation projects with the NUS Students Union for instance through a financial literacy program for...
Singapore soon Asia's Fort Knox?
Singapore is increasing its attractiveness as Asias private banking centre further by scrapping a 7% tax on gold and silver in an effort to turn the city into a precious-metals trading hub to rival London and Zurich, where value-added taxes don't apply to the investment-grade gold trade.
OpenWay provides technology for Bangladesh's payments switch
Earlier in the year the central bank signed a contract with Infotech Global, OpenWays Asian partner, to carry out the implementation of the new infrastructure Infotech is proud to contribute to modernization of Bangladesh payment industry and to apply the industrys best practices to this project
Syndicate Bank to launch online deposits product
Syndicate Bank in India is planning to launch e-Term Deposit a product to enable customers to transfer balance onlinefrom a savings account to a fixed deposit. The online product, which is due to be launched by the end of September, is in line with the slew of new customer-friendly products that Syndicate Bank plans to offer, according to the lenders executive director, Anjaneya Prasad.
Schroder Singapore partners with Axis Bank to unlock Indian potential
This gives the Indian bank access to Schroders' global distribution network and to advise overseas funds invested in Indian securities Further, the deal enables Schroders to participate in the growth opportunity represented by the Indian mutual fund market through a strategic relationship with a leading private sector bank, it said Axis Bank in a statement
BI to issue multiple banking services license rule
Under the planned rule, local and foreign banks operating in the country or seeking to open multiple businesses within the banking sector in Indonesia or to expand services will be required to seek approval from the central bank.
BAY kicks of mobile POS for AIA insurance agents
BAYs strategy to start the new technology with insurance agents and roll out to other merchants at a later point, seeks to slowly educate customers of this new, convenient, flexible, yet secure solution Philip Tan, the banks head of E-Business, said "The launch of 'Krungsri Quick Pay' is part of the bank's e-strategy to stay at the forefront by launching financial technology solutions which provide convenience and improve customer experience...
EZ-Link allows mobile top-up of its NFC application
Singapores EZ-Link is now using Wirecard Group's mobile top-up service via its NFC mobile application The application enables consumers to make NFC payments at the POS Wirecard supports the process for consumers to conveniently add money to their EZ-Link purse on the go, simply using their NFC-enabled phone.
Big interest in GE's BAY stake
GE said to divest of its 33% stake in Thailands Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), opening M&A opportunities for foreign banks looking to expand in Thailand.
Citi opens first smart branch in India
Citibank (Citi) has opened its first smart banking branch in India offering facilities such as screens to view product demonstrations, a media wall to display information, and video conferencing options. Citis smart banking branch launched in Noida just outside of New Delhi offers services covering general banking, loans, credit cards and wealth management. Country business manager, global consumer group, Citi India, Anand Selvakesari, said...
UOB supports SMEs to prepare for regional expansion
UOB and the Singapore Management University (SMU) launched Asias first institute, set up specifically to serve the needs of SMEs for business consulting and industry data The UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute is a timely development for local SMEs looking to grow and expand their businesses in Asia
Groupon rolls out m-payments service
Groupon has entered into the m-payments market launching a service that allows businesses in the US to accept credit cards using an iPhone or an iPod touch. The system is built into the latest version of the Groupon Merchants app for the iPhone and iPod Touch and is aimed to restaurants, salons and spas, retail establishments and other businesses.
Singapore ahead of HK as Asia's offshore centre
The latest edition of the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2012 by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management did not impress with new findings about Asias wealth management industry, but confirmed a number trends, such as Singapore taking the lead as Asias offshore private banking centre as well as that wealth is growing particularly in the affluent segment ($1m to $5m).
Banks must update tech before wealth 'timebomb'
Banks risk losing customers and revenue to rivals without upgrading the digital services they provide to the next-generation of digital savvy clients, according to new research. Technology consultancy Capco described the wave of intergenerational wealth transfer between wealthy baby boomers and their children as a time bomb in a new whitepaper,Digital Services in Wealth Management.
PNB Paribas diversifying towards wealth management
BNP Paribasembarked ona 5-year plan to venture out of Europe and diversify its business to markets less shaken by the Euro crisis, such as the US, Turkey, Poland and Morocco, as well as the Middle East, and Asia. The bank has restructured its US franchise Bank of the West, combining trust, brokerage and private banking, to broaden wealth management services to affluent customer in the US and to attract wealthy clients in Europe and Asia...
Pictet puts equity team in HK and expands EM bonds team in Singapore
Pictet Asset Management announced to expand its investment team in Asia, putting equity portfolio managers and traders into Hong Kong and is centering the emerging-market (EM) corporate bond team in Singapore. By the time the investment team is in place, the entire Greater China long-only equities portfolio will be run out of the territory, says Renaud de Planta, managing partner for Pictet Asset Management.
Asian insurers in dire need for talent
Despite the economic slowdown Asias insurance companies are holding on to their growth trajectory, even as the rest of the financial industry starts to consolidate. With increasing salary levels and an expanding middle class in emerging Asia, combined with high savings rates, the insurance industry realizes outstanding business growth Before people enter the middle class, they cant afford to buy our products, said Robert Cook, senior executive...
Western Union enters Myanmar
It is the first international money transfer service in the country since the Burmese government took steps towards reforms in 2011, easing financial sector restrictions.
VocaLink partners with First Data and Accenture to roll out real-time payments in Australia
Vocalink has partnered with e-commerce payments processor First Data and consultancy Accenture to introduce in Australia the technology for a real-time payments system. The Immediate Payments software solution will enable users to transfer funds between bank accounts in real time instead of one-to-three days, along the lines of UKs Faster Payments, launched by VocaLink in 2008. Todays mobile, digital consumer is increasingly likely to require...
MoneyGram's continues expansion in China
With the new payout service, customers can now transfer funds to 9,755 Bank of China branches, 450 CITIC Bank branches or 1,858 branches of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
People moves in September 2012
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
HSBC in talks with MAS to expand Singapore retail business
Hoping to expand its presence in Singapore beyond its current 9 branches, HSBC Singapore is now in talks with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to set up a local subsidiary for its retail operations here On June 28 this year, MAS said it may require certain existing Qualifying Full Banks (QFBs) that are important to the domestic market to set up local subsidiaries for their retail operations to strengthen depositor protection in...
Citibank targets South Korea's ultra rich
Citibank has announced the opening of its latest Citigold Private Client Center in Seoul.The Citigold center, the first of its kind in South Korea, seeks to serve clients with at least KRW1bn ($882,000) Citigold Centers were first lauched in Singapore and Hong Kong, but the bank has recently opened another outlet in Shanghai in the hope to fill the gap between HNW and UHNW with investible assets of $1-4m.
Google discontinues Wallet's pre-paid card
Google has taken the axe to its pre-paid card option, following an upgrade of its Google Wallet platform. The internet giant said the prepaid card was no longer necessary, as its e-Wallet app now supports any credit or debit card. In a customers notice, Google informed users they will be unable to activate or add funds to any existing card beginning on 17 September.
SocGen reopens Pandora's box
Under the new Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) investment product regulatory regime coming to effect on January 1st 2012, Socit Gnrale (SG) has launched the first structured note, the SGD Equity Magnifier Notes The new MAS regulatory framework for retail structured products was formed after retail investors lost money in structured notes linked to Lehman Brothers and apply to the sale of specified investment products (SIPs), which include...
Hong Kong authority opens to NFC m-payments infrastructure
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is considering the creation of an NFC mobile payments infrastructure, as part of a wider focus on retail payment initiatives The implementation of an e-bill system is also part of the plan, announced by HKMA deputy chief executive Peter Pang during a speech last week.
Sacombank partners CyberSource for e-commerce security
VISA subsidiary, CyberSource, has announced an agreement with Vietnams Sacombank, to provide payment and fraud prevention solutions to support the banks merchant customers amid rapid growth in online sales. It will help them protect their sensitive data and prevent fraud, while helping maintain maximum acceptance of legitimate transactions said Nguyen Thi My Thuyen, Sacombank Card Center Director.
Singapore a notch closer to real time low value payments
Six regional banks in Singapore have chosen Fundtechs Global PAYplus for their Immediate Payments G3 system The service platform is an advanced service oriented architecture payments hub that is able to deliver nearly 100% straight through processing automation. Its rules-based design provides banks with the flexibility to streamline G3-specific real-time configurable workflows, and adapt to future changes to the G3 payments scheme.
Axis Bank launches home loans scheme with instalment waiver
Indias third largest private sector lender, Axis Bank, has launched a new home loan scheme, Happy Ending, that waives off the last 12 equated monthly instalments for borrowers who have been repaying their loans regularly and on time.The instalment waiver will, reportedly, be offered to all home loans that have an initial tenure of at least 20 years and cross their 15th year withAxis Bank A borrower with a floating-rate home loan of INR5m...
MasterCard wins the race for Myanmar
The agreement also enables merchants in Myanmar to accept MasterCard payment cards, giving them access to commerce and the ability to participate in the open, global payments system that MasterCard enables.The announcement comes earlier than expected, as Burmese media reported that international card schemes planned to launch their operations only in 2013.
FIS: Rapid growth of mobile
FIS has announced a 150% YoY growth in client base for its mobile technology, reflecting a rapid growing interest, as financial institutions leverage on mobile banking and payments technology for competitive advantage Along with the recent launch of tablet, mobile wallet and mobile e-Banking, the world leader in payment processing and banking solutions said adoption by bank users has also increased 200% YoY. These new initiatives by FIS Mobile...
China Bank to strengthen consumer portfolio
As the last major bank without a credit card business, Alexander Escucha, head of investor relations and corporate planning said that the bank is trying to strengthen their consumer portfolio. China Bank also laid out plans to build an investment banking business assisting corporates to sell their shares and bonds, as well as in mergers and acquisitions.
Private banking in Asia down for the count?
Anuj Khanna, Pictet & Cie.s chief executive officer for South Asia,seesmore ultra high net-worth individuals (UHNW) in Asia questionning the current private banking business models while senior bankers within the industry are unhappy about the way the business is changing today.
SBI offers credit card applications online
The online card application service Click2Card is SBI Card's next step along its digital roadmap towards more customer convenience and targets net savvy credit card customers SBI Cards opened 400,000 accounts last fiscal year, and plans to add another 560,000 accounts during the current financial year.Kadambi Narahari, CEO ofSBI Cards and Payments said Click2Cardwas targeted at the customers across the country in view of the increasing trend...
Hong Kong tightens regulation on financial advisory
Tightening regulation is restricting the investment choice financial advisers are able to offer their clients and hindering the distribution of investment funds. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), now require advisers to hold a Type 1 license and a minimum deposit of HK$3.6m Advisers who were once able to access a wide range of offshore funds are now left with funds registered in the jurisdiction.
Maybank partners Legoland Malaysia
Malaysian lender Maybank has signed a five-year partnership to be the official retail bank for Legoland Malaysia, which is due to begin operations in the first half of 2013. Maybanks five-year partnership with Legoland Asias first interactive theme park is based on the provision of an advanced electronic payment structure and will exclude all other banks from operating on the Legoland premises, according to the lenders president and CEO,...
State Bank of India, Bank of India allowed to operate in Pakistan
India and Pakistan have agreed to allow two banks each from both the countries to set up branches across the border. The two Indian banks that will be allowed to operate in Pakistan are State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of India (BoI). Quasi-state owned National Bank of Pakistan and privately-owned United Bank will be running full-banking operations across the border, once licensed by India.
The end of ever-growing profits in China?
Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) posted a second-quarter profit of RMB37bn versus RMB39.5bn forecasted by analysts Liberalization of interest rates and regulatory restrictions had contributed to the higher operations costs that made loans less profitable Net interest income, which accounts for nearly 80% of ABCs operating income, rose 15.9% to RMB167.6bn
Japan's banks raise capital for international expansion
Mizuho Bank is set to expand its mergers and acquisitions abroad with a $2bn credit line from the government's Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) JBIC is the Japanese governments export credit agency that also plays a major role in promoting Japanese exports and imports. The JBIC loans, forms part of a move from the Japanese government to capitalize on the yen's strength
ANZ launches corporate mobile banking
ANZ partnered withBottomline Technologies, a prominent provider of cloud-based payment, invoice, and banking solutions, to roll out its new mobile corporate banking solution named ANZ Transactive Mobile.It provides corporate clients with optimum visibility and control over their Australian and New Zealand cash management activities By recognising that CFOs and Treasurers are increasingly spending more time on the go, we wanted to give our...
UnionPay cardholders to get emergency cash at MoneyGram
The global money transfer company MoneyGram has partnered with the Chinese card network UnionPay to offer emergency cash services to UnionPay cardholders. UnionPay credit cardholders will be able to access cash in emergency situations such as stolen, lost or malfunctioning card abroad, if their card issuing bank joins the initiative
Visa launches mobile POS in Thailand
Visa International Thailand has rolled out a Square-style mobile POS device in Thailand, which connects via a smartphones headphone jack and allows merchants to process card transactions through a magstripe reader. Visa Thailand country manager Somboon Krobteeranon said: The web, mobile and social networks are converging, changing the way people shop, pay and get paid the world over - and we see this trend starting to take hold in Thailand. We...
Societe Generale Private Banking recommends more defensive investment strategy
Societe Generale Private Banking switches to a more defensive investment strategy given global growth concerns and the poor outlook for corporate earnings Marc Lansonneur, chief investment officer at Societe Generale Private Banking (Asia Pacific), said: "On fixed income IPOs, new bond issues, new corporate bond issues, there is high demand, and there has been high demand for a year
DBS Bank implements NICE interaction analytics Solution
Southeast Asias largest bank by assets, DBS Bank, has implemented analytics-based Quality Optimisation solution by technology vendor NICE Systems with the aim of enabling DBS to increase contact centre efficiency and improve customer satisfaction by reducing average call handle time and call volume. The NICE analytics technology is targeted at enabling DBS to identify the type of calls that require longer handling time and once these calls are...
AIA survey points to life insurance potential in Australia's SMSF market
A total of 66% of respondents including advisers, brokers and accountants in Australia have cited the knowledge gap as the main barrier to members of self-managed superannuation (SMSFs) taking up life insurance, according to a findings from a survey released by AIA Australia.
Credit Suisse axes back office in Singapore
Credit Suisse is relocating dozens of back-office jobs from Singapore to India and Poland as part of efforts to cut costs, the Financial Times reported on August 27th Two people familiar with the situation were quoted claiming that the bank was relocating back-office staff to India and Poland, without stating the number of jobs set to relocate Credit Suisse is in the middle of a programme to cut costs by the end of 2013 to adapt to a drastic...
Bank of China faces declining profit growth after rate reform
Bank of China Ltd., Chinas major state-owned lender, said on its profit growth in 2012 fell sharply due to slowing economic growth and government interest rate reforms The bank cited profit pressures including a decline in economic growth and interest rate reforms that squeezed the margin between what institutions could charge borrowers and what they paid depositors. Profits rose 7.6 %, to 71.6 billion yuan ($11.3 billion) in the first half on...
Barclays seeks to be top 3 IAM in Singapore
Barclays today announced that it has set up an Independent Asset Managers (IAM) team in Singapore, as it continues to capitalise on market opportunities in Asia, and further grow its private banking business in the region. Based in Singapore, he is tasked with building Barclays offering to serve the needs of this target segment, and managing a team of bankers to spearhead the growth of this new business
SingTel and EZ-Link launch NFC payment services
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and EZ-Link Pte Ltd (EZ-Link) today announced the launch of a mobile payment service for smartphones using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology The payment service allows users to make cashless payments by tapping supported handsets at NFC contactless payment terminals at over 20,000 points island-wide that accept ez-link payment, such as taxis, supermarkets and fast food chains Ms Gan Siok Hoon,...
Citi first Western bank to issue sole-branded credit card in China
Citi became the first western bank to issue a sole branded credit card in China, a market that is expected to be the worlds largest for credit card issuance within the next decade The launch of our sole-branded cards business in China marks a significant development in our growing presence in China, Stephen Bird, Citigroups chief executive officer for Asia Pacific
Chinese non-performing loan ratio unchanged at 0.9%
China Banking Regulatory Commissions data released in August shows that non-performing loans (NPL) in Chinas commercial banks ratio remains unchanged at 0.9% while total NPL increased to RMB456.4 billion by the end of second quarter Foreign funded banks registered lowest NPL ratio of 0.6 percent while commercial and joint-stock commercial banks registered 1 percent and 0.7 percent NPL respectively.
Wealth Management Institution's IT Spending to Continue Growing
Despite declining forecast on world economic activity due to the Eurozone crisis, analysts at Ovum are predicting that IT spending by the global wealth management industry will reach almost $35bn by 2016, powered by heavy investment in digital channels. Between 2011 and 2016 the Asia-Pacific region will increase its IT spending by a compound annual growth rate to 8.5 percent, a forecast by Ovum
China e-commerce leader drops PayPal
The dissolution of what was claimed to be PayPals biggest partnership in Asia will come as something of a blow to the firms expansion plans here, especially if DHGates claims that it has attracted over three million buyers are correct.In a statement released from PayPal, they said "While we do not provide specifics regarding our business partnerships, we can confirm that PayPal and DHgate are ending their business relationship and PayPal will...
People moves in August 2012
People: Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Vietnam to ease brokerage rules
In an effort to improve trade, Vietnams State Securities Commission has issued a new decree allowing foreign investors to wholly own securities companies in Vietnam. Before the implementation of Decree 582012ND-CP of the Amended Securities Law, foreign owners were not able to exert major influence on securities firms, said FPT Securities Co analyst Giang Trung Kien
India - Itz Cash Card Ltd partners Big Tree Entertainment's Bookmyshow.com
Itz Cash Card Ltd Indias pioneers in Multi Service Prepaid Card has partnered with Bookmyshow.com, Indias leading entertainment ticketing website to facilitate payment of online entertainment bookings on www.bookmyshow.com through ItzCash.
S&P Expects Banking Expansion for Asia-Pacific
Expansion of banks in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are likely to continue over the next few years, to take advantage of higher yields and the growth potential in emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific.Standard & Poors Rating Services (S&P)
Singapore's NFC infrastructure goes live
The consortium tasked my Singapores telecommunications regulator IDA to build an interoperable NFC infrastructure has announced its readiness to launch mobile payment services at over 30,000 retail points across the island. Led by Gemalto, the consortium including three telcos Singtel, Starhub and M1, as well as payment provider EZ link and DBS and Citibank set out In October 2011 to build a secure, unified and comprehensive third party...
TCBIL emerges as India's largest managed ATM services provider
Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions (TCBIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Communications, has become Indias largest managed ATM service provider as it signs a contract to deploy and manage nearly 14,000 ATMs for all public sector banks across Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, West Bengal & Andaman & Nicobar and Andhra Pradesh
International card schemes in Burma by 2013
Burmese media reported plans of three international card schemes to connect Myanmar to their payment networks by early 2013.Privately owned banks operating under the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) system will accept Visa, China UnionPay and JCB cards for ATM withdrawals at any MPU member bank
PNB invests in new ATM switch
Philippine National Bank (PNB) has signed a multi-year agreement for delivery of an integrated retail payments platform supported by FIS CONNEX Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) switching solution. Seeking to modernize its ATM switching solution, PNB selected FIS CONNEX for its exceptional EFT processing capabilities that meet the banks requirements for the future
S&P: Banks' regional expansion a double-edged sword
Banks in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia have build regional operations over the last years to take advantage of higher yields and the growth potential in emerging markets and are likely to continue this path In its report titled "Regional Expansion By Singapore, Hong Kong, And Malaysian Banks Is A Double-Edged Sword the rating agency states that increasing linkages among various Asia-Pacific economies and fierce competition in home markets...
UOB offers on-the-spot home loan approval
Home loan applications and approvals that could take up to 60 minutes to process are now done in a split-second as UOB has used some of the latest technologies, and streamlined and automated processes for faster credit evaluation and approval.
Hiring slowdown in finance across AP
Asia-Pacifics finance jobs are not immune to the global uncertainty, which has triggered another round of job cuts in the West Financial sector job opportunities in AP have dropped 14% YoY finds the latest quarterly Jobs Barometer from eFinancialCareers. Nonetheless APACs top financial markets seem to have returned to stability, with a 2% QoQ increase from Q1-2012 to Q2-2012
RMB offshore payments - the steady rise of a major payment currency
The SWIFT RMB Tracker maps the growth of the renminbi (RMB) for offshore payments Since it inception in October 2010, the RMB showed a most spectacular growth and continues its monthly progression -outgrowing any other top 20 payments currency. Offshore RMB payments grew in value by 17.4 times from October 2010 to June 2012
Prudential Singapore launches CI product for affluent market
The product offers a payout of up to S$500,000 ($397,425) for the diagnosis of an early stage medical condition and up to $250,000 for selected diabetic complications. In the event of an accident or mishap, the policy has an accidental death benefit of 100% sum assured coverage, or $1 million, whichever is lower in the event of an accident.
Western Union unveils Prepaid Gold Card in the Philippines
Western Union has rolled out the Western Union Gold Prepaid Card in the Philippines partnering with VISA and UnionBank of the Philippines to facilitate Western Union Money Transfer transactions directly onto the card by sending a text message. Western Union global prepaid senior vice president Michael Hafer said Western Union moves money for better, and in the Philippines, it is proud to be a leading provider of money transfers, enabling...
MasterCard's DataCash includes Alipay in its merchant network
DataCash Group, a MasterCard company, has partnered with Chinas Alipay to enable DataCash merchants to accept payments made on Alipay's online payment platform in China This will remove the translation and integration costs associated with the Chinese e-commerce integration and is also acquirer agnostic, says a press release issued by DataCash. DataCash president Ajay Bhalla said, "In addition to our work with Alipay, we are growing DataCash...
Wealth managers turning to outsourcing: Celent
Wealth management firms are increasingly turning to outsourcing to help deal with post-financial crisis challenges, according to a new report. Wealth Management Outsourcing: A Global Perspective, from research and consultancy Celent, said the wealth management services industry has changed its approach since the global financial crisis to incorporate outsourcing practices. In the report is a survey of 12 global vendors active in wealth...
Julius Baer buys BOC's Swiss unit on the back of strategic partnership
Bank of China (BOC) has sold its Swiss unit to Switzerland's largest private bank Julius Baer as the banks form a strategic partnership to refer clients in the future.
'FRANK by OCBC' launches internship scheme
The second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets, OCBC Bank, has launched a FRANK by OCBC Singapore Polytechnic Internship Programme in conjunction with the opening of its fourth FRANK Store at Singapore Polytechnic. The aim of the internship programme, according to the lender,is to teach students how to manage the FRANK by OCBC banking programme, as well as develop and implement new business ideas to differentiate the...
Survey: M-banking for SMEs seen as biggest opportunity
A survey conducted by Fundtech has indicated that banks see the SME market as the one offering the greatest growth potential, with the majority of respondents seeing evidence that non-bank players are taking business away from them in that sector. Those surveyed singled out mobile banking services for SMEs as the service with the greatest growth opportunities, with 95% of bankers describing the untapped potential of the SME market as equal or...
ICICI Bank revamps iMobile app
Indias largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, has launched a new version of its mobile banking app iMobile offering simplified financial as well as non-financial services. The financial services offered by the revamped iMobile app include fund transfers, balance enquiry, viewing the last five transactions, opening fixed depositsrecurring deposits, and more The non-financial services on offer are buying movie and airline tickets, prepaid...
'Super-rich' hide $21trn in offshore havens
The global super-rich have used financial service firms to exploit overseas tax laws to hide $21trn offshore, according to a new study. The figure, based on 2010 data, is equivalent to the size of the U.S
Smartphone transit ticketing launched in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian electronic payment systems provider Touch'n Go Sdn Bhd (TNGSB) has announced plans to introduce NFC smartphone apps to enable customers in Kuala Lumpur to pay for public transport through their mobiles TNGSB is partnering with telecommunication companies Maxis and CIMB for the pilot project, set to go live in the next two months.
Indonesia: Tighter ownership rules, but a backdoor for healthy FIs
Indonesia's central bank eventually announced a cap on single ownership of domestic banks at 40%, but will make exceptions for well managed financial institutions The long-awaited regulation aims to prevent Indonesian lenders to fall captive to single interests and ensuring a diverse shareholder base to hold management accountable.
Société Générale to repay misled HK clients $11m
Societe Generale is to pay $11m to clients after the bank failed to inform them about the full fees and charges for over-the-counter bonds, options and structured notes (OTC products). The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) reprimanded the banks Hong Kong branch for the fault in internal controls in its wealth management activities.
People moves in July 2012
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
IE and Experian partner on collections solution
Digital banking software provider Intelligent Environments (IE), in partnership with data and decision support vendor Experian, has launched the Smart Collect 24-7 payment portal, which enables companies to encourage customers to repay debts conveniently online. The launch of Smart Collect 24-7 marks IEs first move into collections, and aims to provide a new, lower cost alternative to existing, traditional collections strategies. The Smart...
The phantom returns - Double dip or soft patch in the US?
UOB sees weakening SGD given weakening Western economic indicators The ongoing global vulnerability expected to affect Singapores economic outlook and currency in the next 12 months according to the bank. The 2012 GDP growth forecast remains at 2.5%.With Europe still in a mess and recent economic data from the US, particularly PMI and employment data, pointing downwards, the crisis might not be quite over yet.
Major boost for Indonesian life market
Life insurance coverage in Indonesia is said to have risen by 15.1 percent year-on-year (YOY) in Q1 2012, according to a media report citing the Association of Indonesian Life Insurance Companies (AAJI). The Jakarta Post, reported that this means that the number of Indonesian consumers taking out life insurance coverage reached 52.8m.
China UnionPay monopoly in breach of WTO rules
The decision was welcomed by the US governments who first filed a complaint in 2010, backing Visa Inc, MasterCard and a number of other US-based companies in their efforts to gain greater access into the Chinese market.
ICBC completes purchase of 80% stake in Bank of East Asia's US subsidiary
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has completed its purchase of an 80% stake in the Hong Kong-headquartered Bank of East Asias US subsidiary and acquired a total of13 branches in New York and California. With the finalisation of the deal, ICBC has gained the license to conduct retail banking in the US and expanded its network in the country, ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing said.
India gives tax-dodging HNW amnesty lifeline
India has offered amnesty to 100 high net worth (HNW) citizens with secret HSBC accounts in Switzerland, according to media reports. Bloomberg has reported that the countrys income tax department will not charge nationals if they transfer the money in their Swiss accounts back to India and pay off owed taxes. India, like the US and UK, is seeking to clamp down on HNWIs with undeclared offshore assets as part of a joint effort to tackle tax...
Aviva's Malaysia JV attracts growing interest
Aviva has reportedly shortlisted potential buyers including Prudential, Manulife, AIA Group and Sun Life Financial for the sale of a 49% stake in its insurance joint venture in Malaysia with CIMB Group.
Singapore survey flags up insurers and banks' 'inadequacies'
A mystery shopping survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has found almost a third of the product recommendations made by insurers and banks were assessed by an industry panel as unsuitable. However, it said almost a third of the product recommendations were unsuitable because the products recommended did not match the shoppers financial objectives or their stated investment horizons.
Google adds offer-saving function to wallet
A feature called Save to Wallet will enable Google Wallet users to save online offers to their wallets and redeem them in stores. This would make it easier for consumers to redeem mobile-based offers by either showing or scanning the discount on smartphone screen at the point-of-sale, or by tapping the phone at a NFC terminal at check-out.
StanChart launches ad campaign to reinforce community support
Standard Chartered (StanChart) has launched an international advertising campaign with the aim ofdemonstrating the banks Here for good brand promiseacross TV, print, outdoor and digital platforms The campaign reportedly illustrates howStanChart'scontinued support for trade has a direct impact on individuals across the banks network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The new campaign also calls on consumers to visit the official webpage and...
SunGard and Celent develop Bank Readiness Index
Research firm Celent has developed a Bank Readiness Index (BRI) on behalf of US-based IT solutions company SunGard that is an online tool aiming to enable banks benchmark their ability to cater to customer expectations. The index aggregates banks capabilities across several dimensions among banks in each region and normalises those capabilities based on measured consumer preferences and behaviour, such as social media usage and smartphone...
Pakistani insurer launches new expat cover for UAE residents
Pakistani insurer State Life Corporation is reportedly planning to launch a new health insurance scheme in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and elsewhere in the Gulf region. It is hoping to capitalise on the compulsory insurance laws that Abu-Dhabi has developed over the last few years, and which may soon be extended to the other emirates.
Sibos returns to Singapore in 2015
SWIFT has selected Singapore and Marina Bay Sands as the venue for Sibos 2015.SIBOS is one of the largest events for the financial services industry globally attracting between 5000 and 8000 delegates from commercial banks, investment banks, regulators, corporates and technology providers every year After Osaka this year, Dubai in 2013 and Boston in 2014, the worlds premier financial services event will return to Asia Pacific in 2015 in...
HDFC Bank rolls out premium credit cards for doctors
Indias HDFC bank has launched two high-end credit cards for doctors called Doctors Superia and Doctors Platinum that come with a loyalty scheme and offer lifestyle benefits. The bank said these premium credit cards are designed to cater to the lifestyle, travel and other needs of doctors.
e-commerce: Avangate plans to grow in Asia-Pacific
Avangate, an e-commerce provider, has signed a partnership with Tuji Group, a Chinese technology and marketing company, to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific region represents a major portion of the global software market, with China and Japan representing over USD293bn of the worlds IT spend.
Singapore's emerging affluent under insured
Singapores emerging affluent exposed to financial risk due to little or no personal insurance coverage finds a research commissioned by UOB Wealth Banking For those insured endowment plans with shorter premium terms are the most popular insurance option. One in four (24%) of the target segment, defined as assets under management (AUM) between S$100,000 ($79,000) and S$350,000, replied it had no insurance
Citi names Jonathan Larsen new global retail bank head
This is the first time one of Citis main consumer banking units will be based in Asia-Pacific underlining the increasing importance of the region and its consumer bank to Citi globally.
StanChart India introduces instant online credit card approval
Standard Chartered Bank launched India's first instant online credit card approval solution enabling customers online application and promises near real time in principle approval. The online Credit Card AIP is poised to revolutionise customer experience with its instant feedback feature," said Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, regional head, South Asia & chief marketing officer, consumer banking at Standard Chartered Bank Digital solutions are the...
Credit Suisse: Overweight on China, Hong Kong and Singapore equities
Asias outlook remains positive despite European woes, due to its healthy sovereign balance sheets and an expected moentary easing to be expected for the second half Credit Suisse Private Banking Research expects Asia to remain well positioned to weather the global uncertainties, thanks to the region's policy flexibility on the monetary and fiscal front
Insurers told to mind the risks in Asia
Asia offers immense growth opportunities for insurers, but providers should also consider challenges including catastrophe risk, longevity risk and retirement security risk, says a senior figure at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Speaking at a conference on 25 June 2012, Ng Nam Sin, assistant managing director of the development group at Monetary Authority of Singapore explained that although gross premiums in Asia ex-Japan have...
Asian countries tighten asset management regulations
Asia is not immune from regulation-tightening, as the legal framework for asset managers across the continent is getting just as tough as in Europe and the US, a KPMG report suggests. According to the consultancy firms report:Evolving investment management regulation: a clear path ahead, Asian countries, led by Hong Kong and Singapore, are following the approach adopted by their western counterparts, increasing asset management regulations to...
China UnionPay and China Mobile partner to launch m-payments
Chinese card network China UnionPay (CUP) and mobile network operator China Mobile have entered into a partnership to work spur the development of the mobile payments industry in the country. Both companies have announced that they will co-operate to improve technical standards and inter-operability to enable NFC payments at the point of sale.
ASB to launch payments service through Facebook
New Zealand-based Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) has revamped its mobile banking app and added a new service that will enable customers to make payments directly through Facebook to friends,regardless of whether they are ASB customers or not,without using a bank account number.
Citibank offers flexible card reactivation
Citibank Singapore gives customers the ability to deactivate and reactivate a credit card on the spot, as well as the option to specify a time period to activate overseas transactions for ATM and debit cards.The on-demand deactivation and reactivation option for its credit cards is a world-first, according to Citibank Singapore chief executive Han Kwee Juan The Singapore market was chosen as there was demand from consumers and the necessary...
LGT to double Asian assets
LGT Group, the Princely House of Liechtensteins private bank, plans to double assets in Asia to $24 billion in the next five years after adding staff and investing in information technology. LGT, fully owned since 1930 by the European principalitys royal family, has $12 billion in assets in Asia and wants to grow by 10% to 15% a year, Dominique Joye, chief executive of the Singapore unit, said in an interview
Pakistan: Sybase365 to boost Allied Bank's m-payment offering
Sybase 365, a subsidiary of mobile commerce services Sybase, will provide Pakistans Allied Bank with an m-commerce solution to offer mobile financial services to its customers. Allied Bank hopes Sybase365s mobile commerce technology (Sybase mCommerce 365) offers end-to-end services including mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile remittances Allied Bank will integrate these capabilities into its products and hopes to attract a potential...
iZettle raises $31.4m to fuel it global expansion
The capital was acquired in two funding rounds (Series A and B) and will help the Stockholm-based company to break the Nordic frontiers acrossEuropeand other markets where chip-cards are the standard The company uses a mini chip-card reader and app to convert an iPhone or iPad into a credit card terminal and has initiated tests for commercial release in theUK.
People moves in June 2012
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Sri Lanka: central bank licenses m-money service
The central bank of Sri Lanka has given the green light to the telco Dialog Axiata to kick off its mobile payment service for its 7.5 million customers. The dawn of the mobile money era in Sri Lanka has been made possible by the progressive, and financial inclusion focused, regulatory ethos of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka."
DBS Bank launches instant mobile rewards redemption app
South-East Asias largest lender DBS Bank has launched the DBS Rewards mobile app, enabling cardholders to instantly redeem rewards through their mobile phones. In addition to instant rewards redemption at participating DBS merchants, cardholders can browse, save chosen rewards and redeem the points via their mobile phones. Customers can also track their rewards usage and use the built-in augmented reality feature to search for nearby...
India's 'Money-on-Mobile' launches carrier- and bank-agnostic m-wallet
The service, which is not tied to any mobile service provider or bank, allows mobile phone subscribers to pay for a wide range of goods and services by mobile phone. Consumer can load their MOM m-wallet with cash at one of 82,000 retail touch points (expected to be 2m by yearend) and use it to pay for electricity, gas and mobile bills and top-ups, as well as airline, bus and movie tickets.
Asia needs to get involved to develop security standards
With the rapid growth of electronic payments and the emergence of new devices such as mobile phones, wireless POS terminals and mobile dongles, securing payments will stay high on the agenda of banks, their merchants and the payment networks The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is the open, global forum defining security standards for the industry and its partners to make card payments more secure. While PCI standards have been adopted...
HKMA changes High Net Worth legal definition
Under the new formula, banks can classify individuals as a private banking customer only if they have: (a) at least US$3m in investable assets, such as securities and deposits; or (b) at least US$1m under the banks management.
Lloyds to sell Japanese remittance business to Shinsei Bank
Lloyds Banking Group plans to sell its remittance business in Japan GoLloyds to Tokyo-headquartered Shinsei Bank for an undisclosed sum. The decision to sell GoLloyds is reportedly in line with Lloyds strategy of reducing its international presence and concentrating on its domestic market in the UK.
Coutts: Reconsidering the definition of safe assets
The financial crisis in Europe today shows many similarities with the Asian Financial Crisis from 199798 says Coutts chief investment officer for Asia, Norman Villamin Characteristics such as currency depreciation, bank stabilization, and economic restructuring remain the same across the big crises of the last decades The big challenge in Europe will be to get politicians to agree on two main issues
IBM CEO Study: ASEAN CEOs keen to leverage social networks
In its annual CEO Study, based on interviews with over 1700 global CEOs from 64 countries and 18 industries, IBM identifies three major domains where CEOs believe they can create economic value: employee empowerment, engaging customers as individuals, and partnerships. The study identifies a shift in the way industry leaders seek to empower employees through values, instead of just tasks In order to balance organisational openness with...
Indonesia: PT Telekomunikasi moves into e-commerce with Finpay
Finpay is actually run by PTTs subsidiary PT Finnet Indonesia, which specialises in electronic payment systems and services, such as e-billing and even interbank transactions, and is connected to 50 banks in Indonesia.This is not the first time PTT has sank its foot into the e-commerce market: In 2009, it ran Mojopia, also an online payments platform and payment system
Sun Life expands Asian footprint with Vietnam JV
Sun Life Financial hopes to become a market leader in Vietnam after agreeing a joint venture with Vietnamese insurer PVI Holdings. PVI will own 51% of PVI Sun Life and Sun Life will own the remaining 49% stake.
Philippine central bank ends branch restrictions
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has lifted restrictions on branch expansion in metro areas, allowing banks to put up as many branches as they want and in as many locations as they intend to as long as their capital can support such expansion
Bank Islam launches dual currency investment product
Bank Islam Malaysia launched Islamic Dual Currency Investment, a deposit product that is expected to earn higher returns than regular foreign currency deposits It is linked to the performance of a pair of foreign currencies based on the concept of Wakalah-lil-Istithmar an agency contract for investment that meets both local and international syariah standards. The product is expected to appeal to the banks existing customers who are already...
CIBC selling private wealth management operations in HK and SG
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) sells its standalone Hong Kong and Singapore-based private wealth-management business focusing more on offshore asset-management capabilities Within wealth management, our near-term focus is on expanding our global asset-management capabilities in international equities and fixed income, and alternative asset classes," said a CIBC spokesman He said Asia presents long-term opportunities to expand its...
StanChart explores yet untouched segment - Islamic HNWIs
Standard Chartered Private Bank announced the launch of a comprehensive suite of Islamic financial solutions for its clients The solutions range from fiduciary deposits, property financing, equities and discretionary services, mutual funds (including Exchange-Traded Funds), Islamic bonds (Sukuks), to third-party structured products These solutions will become available to clients by mid June this year across the banks booking centres in...
India's RuPay: pin-based authentication for e-commerce
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that its pin-only RuPay debit cards will be able to be used for online transactions, using pin-based authentication. The NPCI has partnered with Acculynk, a debit card payments security specialist that will support RuPay cards with PaySecure, a solution that allows e-shoppers to enter their existing debit card and PIN numbers to complete online transactions.
RBS Wealth ramps up advisory services in India
RBS Wealth division announced the launch of wealth planning services in India in the areas such as succession planning, asset preservation, asset consolidation, and philanthropy. The service, which will offer solutions to clients to meet their long-term plans for structuring, protection and transmission of wealth, will complement the existing banking and investment services offerings, an RBS statement said. The wealth planning services that...
AXA denied entry to Taiwanese market
Taiwans Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has rejected an application by AXA group to enter the Taiwanese life insurance market. According to the Taipei Times, the rejection is a result of concerns over AXAs long term commitment to the Taiwanese market. It is reported that AXA applied to make its third entry attempt in January, and had up a preparatory office in Taipei with a staff of 30.
Cathay United offers online payment service for China UnionPay cardholders
Cathay United Bank cooperated with China UnionPay (CUP), the only domestic bank card organization in China, to offer online payment service for CUP cardholders So far CUP only partnered with Chinese banks to offer online payment services, including China Merchants Bank, Bank of China, China Everbright Bank, Hua Xia Bank, and China Mingsheng Banking Corp.
Axis Bank to use IBM technology for customer service improvement
Indias third largest private sector lender, Axis Bank, has started a project with technology vendor IBM with the aim of providing better customer serviceby managing and consolidating the contact centre operations. The project aims to consolidate the lenders existing 58 regional asset centres to a single mortgage contact centre.The consolidated contact centre will cater to inbound voice and email communications from Axis Bank customers,...
Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank grow savings market share on higher rates
A higher interest rate of up to 7% on savings deposits gives Indias new-generation banks, such as like Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank the edge to expand market shares at the cost of the public sector banks (PSB).Data from a report by global investment bank Espirito Santo suggests that smaller new-generation banks have seen their incremental savings account deposit market share grow four-fold from 1% in the first quarter of...
CBA to pilot virtual safety deposit box launch
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) aims to pilot an online virtual safety deposit box NetBank Vault to enable customers to save important documents in their online bank account. CBA has updated its NetBank and launched multiple features within it including the NetBank Vault, with the aim of making banking simpler and more convenient for its customers. The NetBank has been revamped with a new look and design, featuring a navigation bar, a...
First regional bank opens in Tibet
The Bank of Tibet will strive to promote economic and social development in Tibet, improve the financial service quality and build up a financial service network covering all the region," said Pema Tsewang, chairman of Bank of Tibet.
Luup to power real-time mobile remittances corridor UAE- India
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has upgraded it mobile based SMS payment service, Arrow, to allow remittances into India via mobile phones NBAD claims it is the first time a bank has introduced a real-time international account-to-account money transfer service in the world.
Jakarta: Transjakarta, DKI Bank introduce smartcards for public transport
Jakartas bus rapid transit systemTransjakarta will start phasing out paper tickets in its buses by the end of May and replace these with electronic smartcards that will be issued by DKI Bank The new e-payment system will be, initially, available in the Corridor 6, the route with the smallest volume of commuters using a bus inJakarta. The prepaid card will be called JakCard and will be extended to other commuter routes August, provided the...
Myanmar to accelerate entry of foreign banks from ASEAN
The Myanmar government has brought forward the date of permitting foreign banks access to the country by 12 months, Nay Aye, one of the two deputy governors at the countrys central bank said on May 18th Banks from the ASEAN region will be allowed to set up operational branches by 2014, while banks from other countries will be able to establish joint ventures within the same time-frame, he was reported as saying The regulatory and procedural...
ING Asian insurance sale attracts interest
A sale of INGs Asian life insurance business would help the financial institution repay the remaining 3bn ($3.8bn) of state aid it received as part of the capital support facilities it received by the Dutch government during the financial crisis. ING spokeswoman Carolien van der Giessen said: We are exploring options for our Asian Insurance and IM activities and while all options are open, we are currently exploring options for a sale.
Asia-Pacific's leading retail banks
The Banking & Payments Asia Trailblazer Awards evaluate retail financial institutions across four key categories: payments, channels, services and processes. Here are the winners of 2012.
People Moves in May 2012
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Facebook flotation to create 970 millionaires
Facebooks pending IPO will create 970 millionaires including 165 super rich ultra high net worth Individuals (UHNWIs), according to new research by the wealth intelligence service WealthInsight. In depth analysis reveals that this new group of UHNWIs (those worth more than $30m), known as the Facebook Elite,will each have an average wealth of more than $225m. Based on an IPO price of US$30 per share, WealthInsight estimates that among...
Citibank Korea launches 'Financial Product Development Contest'
Citibank Korea is conducting a Financial Product Development Contest for both customers and employees, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Citi, that will allow the winner to receive a cash prize of KRW10m ($87,09.97). The Financial Product Development Contest is taking place between 14 May and 15 June and will be judged on the basis of commercial viability, ingenuity of the idea,and expected effect of the proposed financial product
GRGBanking's ATM to issue gift cards
Chinese ATM manufacturer GRGBanking has announced that its machines will now issue debit and gift cards on demand. The gift card issuing ATM will be available in the market soon, said Kevin Luo, director of business development at GRGBanking to SelfServiceWorld.com, not disclosing further details. The ATMs will be able to write out magnetic stripe or chipped cards, and roughly any type of gift cards, said Luo.
Pakistan is implementing IBAN standard
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to implement International Bank Account Number (IBAN) standard to standardise account codes and increase efficiency in processing of payments for domestic as well as cross border transactions.
ANZ expanding its China business
ANZ announced to invest A$300m ($300m) in its China unit hoping to triple the size of its network organicly within the next five to tenyears. The number of outlets will be increased from six today to 20 in the next five to ten years The capital increase, which is subject to regulatory approval, is the first since the bank invested A$395 million while incorporating its Chinese unit in 2010.
Allied Bank to launch mobile banking services
Lahore headquartered Allied Bank plans to launch mobile banking services and has announced the deployment of mCommerce solutions from software vendor Sybase, and consulting, IT and outsourcing firm AbacusConsulting, to support its m-banking initiative. Allied Bank, being one of the largest banks in Pakistan, has been capitalising on technology to provide fast and cost efficient services to its customers, according to the lender. Pakistan is...
HSBC Q1: Dip in Europe balanced by growth in Asia
While the banks Europe business made a loss before tax of $997m in in 1Q12, due to higher adverse movements in credit spreads on the fair value of its debt, Hong Kongs profit before tax increased by 21% to $1.9b compared with $1.6b in 1Q11
China UnionPay's growing global reach
MoneySwap, an Asia focused prepaid card and online money services business, announced an agreement with China UnionPay to act as overseas merchant acquirer for UnionPay Online Payment (UPOP) programme MoneySwap will be responsible for cooperating with China UnionPay to expand the UPOP business in Europe by acquiring merchants who sell their goods and services over the internet and giving them access to the UPOP network
India to incentivise foreign banks to set up local subsidiaries
Indias finance minister Pranab Mukherjee offers to exempt foreign banks from paying tax for setting up local units as it looks to ring-fence such units against external economic shocks. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is formulating a scheme for subsidiarisation of Indian branches of foreign banks to ring fence Indian capital and Indian operations from economic shocks external to the Indian economic scenario," he told lawmakers in parliament
CIMB expands to the Philippines
Pushing its regional expansion forward, CIMB announced to buy 58% of the unlisted banking arm Bank of Commerce (BoC) from the Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp for nearly $300m. The purchase, which follows seven months of talks, marks CIMB's entry into the Philippines and follows its acquisition in April of several Asian units of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
New Zealand tests NFC on Auckland Transport
Mobile network Telecom New Zealand, Westpac and Auckland Transport have partnered to launch a pilot scheme that allows users to pay transport fares with NFC-enabled phones. Digital security software firm Gemalto, ticketing solutions provider Thales and ATM network Paymark will also take part in the project. The trial is aimed at testing NFC payments in Aucklands public transport network which includes bus, trains and ferries, and will be...
China liberalises retail money exchange
China will facilitate the development of non-bank retail money changers by allowing them easier market access and broader business scope, the country's foreign exchange regulator has promised. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) will reduce operational costs for licensed retail money changers and encourage them to run chain stores to achieve economies of scale, according to a new SAFE press release. The new regulations will...
NAB restructure may impact wealth
National Australia Bank (NAB) is to cut 1,400 jobs by 2015 in Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank as part of restructuring its UK operations Speaking to our sister publicationPrivate Banker International, a NAB spokesperson said that banks business banking unit, which works alongside its wealth division, will be affected.
Insurance venture targets wealthy Filipinos
and Standard Chartered Bank Philippines have reportedly announced the establishment of Assurance Solutions Insurance Agency, (ASIA) a new firm that will distribute Pru Life products to wealthy Filipino clients of Standard Chartered Bank Philippines. BusinessWorld Online reported that ASIA will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank that will be managed separately from the banks operations.
MUFJ to expand overseas retail banking
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) plans to hire as many as 3,000 people abroad over the next three years to expand its overseas retail banking business The bank targets generating at least 40% of its profit from overseas within the period, compared with about 28% now, Takashi Morimura, the head of global banking at MUFGs lending unit said in an interview
HDFC Bank to open one-man branches in the periphery
HDFC Bank is set to open one-man branches in rural centres The move will help the bank meet priority sector commitments and aid its financial inclusion drive. We have already started it on a pilot basis in some villages
Regulatory constraints force BCA to close shop in Malaysia
Bank Central Asia (BCA) plans to close its Malaysia office, BCA Remittance, due to difficulties in growing its business, the company announced in a statement
MoneyGram services expanded to 10,000 Bank of China locations in China
MoneyGram and Bank of China announced on Monday that they have completed a three-year expansion of services across the Bank of China network Customers in China can now access MoneyGram's services at any of the Bank's more than 10,000 locations across mainland China.
India, Pakistan to allow cross-border branches
The troubled neighbours are set to allow banks from both sides to open branches in each other's territory amid a renewed attempt at reviving relations The two central banks -Reserve Bank of IndiaandState Bank of Pakistan- are readying to invite applications from interested commercial banks, following a meeting of their officials earlier this month when they sorted out most prickly issues
All eyes on Thai bank insurance deal
Prudential is reported to be considering bidding for the insurance business of Thailands Thanachart Bank in deal said to be valued at approximately $500m. It has been reported that the Thanachart Bank unit, is set to be auctioned and is expected to include life and non-life assets as well as a bancassurance arrangement
FirstRand Bank opens first retail branch in India
South Africas second-largest lender by market value, FirstRand Bank (FRB), has started retail operations in India by opening its first branch in Mumbai. The retailbranch opening in India represents the "first new market outside of Africa for these operations" for the lender, according to FRB. FRBhad plans to launch its first retail branch in India in December 2011, but the opening got delayed due to issues surrounding the location of the branch.
Indonesian AUM to pass India, UNHW ranks swell
The ultra high net worth (UNHW) segment will continue to grow rapidly in Asia this year, although regulatory changes are seen as the biggest brake on the wealth industry in 2012, research fromBarclays suggests Barclays Wealth Management Survey, 2012surveyed 109 Asian wealth managers from 65 firms across eight Asian countries at its seventh annual wealth management conference in Hong Kong on 20 April
Pictet & Cie wealth arm gets HKMA licence
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has granted Pictet & Cie a full banking licence for its wealth management arm. Hong Kong will now serve as one of the five booking centres globally, complementing Pictets existing bank in Singapore, Pictet said The Swiss bank claims to have in been operation in Asia for 25 years.
OCBC launches credit card with interest-free instalments for any purchase
The OCBC Cashflo card helps customers manage their cash flow by automatically dividing the credit card purchase amount into three or six equal interest-free monthly payments, when they charge any amount above S$100 ($80) to the card As an added feature, customers have the flexibility to set the minimum spend, in multiples of S$100, to activate the instalment plan on their cards.
Citi Philippines and Planet Payment partner on multi-currency processing
Citi Philippines and Planet Payment, an international and multi-currency payment processor, announced an agreement to provide Planet Payment's Pay in Your Currency service to Citi's merchant partners in the country With Pay in Your Currency, Citibank credit cardholders and other eligible customers are offered the convenience of paying in their home currency at the point-of-sale
Janice Lee Bank Sarasin's new Head of Credit Management Asia
17 years as a head of credit management at several bulge bracket firms, and most recently Clariden Leu, and a further seven years in the finance industry, have provided Lee with exceptional expertise and experience for the job at hand
Chinatrust, China UnionPay cooperate on cards, remittances and online payments
Taiwans Chinatrust Commercial Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic cooperation with China UnionPay to jointly operate a range of cross-Taiwan Strait and international financial services. Under the pact, both sides will cooperate with each other in the fields of IC cards, the interests of card-holders, online payments, cross-border remittance and merchant acquiring services Besides striving to offer more convenient...
JCB Japan guide app makes travelling and shopping in Japan easier
Following the JCB Hawaii guide for iPhone, iPod touch and Android in Japanese language last June, the new application provides JCB cardmembers access to location-based deals and offers using the GPS locator function in addition to travel and sightseeing information
BNZ reduces ATM downtime by a third with NCR predictive services
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has deployed predictive services, by US-headquartered self-service solution provider NCR, across its ATM network The NCR predictive services a solution that predicts failures before they occur has enabled BNZ to reduce the downtime of its ATMs by a third. According to BNZ, reducing the downtime equates to serving customers for an extra 20,000 hours each year across the lenders 450-strong ATM network.
BofA to put wealth management unit for sale?
The worlds largest wealth manager Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA) has denied rumours it is putting its wealth management units outside the US up for sale. BofA declined to comment on a Reuters report that suggested BofAs two non-US arms, one of which manages $90bn worth of assets, are to be sold.
Punjab National Bank to set up 24-hours eLobby
Indias second largest public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) plans to roll out new 24-hours service centres to enable customers to access select banking services.According to PNB, the bank aims to set up an eLobby, which will have one ATM, cash deposit kiosk, pass book printing terminal, cheque deposit machine and two internet banking terminals
India implements Government e-payment gateway
Indias Ministry of Finance has passed regulation mandating that all governmental ministries to make payments above INR25,000 (USD485) electronically, replacing cash and cheques with transfers direct to recipients bank accounts. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance toldElectronic PaymentsInternationalthat: Orders have been issued and all payments above INR25,000 to suppliers, contractors and individuals must be directly credited to their...
Indonesia's BNI targets more income from bancassurance
Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is reportedly expecting to receive a larger amount of fee-based income in 2012 from its bancassurance business after securing deals with several insurance companies. The Jakarta Post reported that BNI has signed agreements with its subsidiary PT BNI Life Insurance, PT Asuransi Jiwa Sequis Life, PT Asuransi Cigna and PT AIA Financial.
Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank to install palm-scanning ATMs
Japan-based Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank plans to adopt and install a dozen palm-scanning biometric ATMs that will identify users by scanning their palms instead of using debit cards.
DBS to inject US$360m into China subsidiary
Following the launch of its first branch in the Western Chinese city of Chongqing in January, DBS announced to put another RMB 2.3b ($360m) into its subsidiary DBS China to support its expansion plan into the region.
Google buys payment technology firm TxVia
Google has acquired mobile payments technology company TxVia to enhance its digital payments service The company said that the acquisition will assist it to counter balance the growing impact from its archrival PayPal. TxVia provides mass-market prepaid cards, general purpose reloadable cards as well as more B2B-focussed initiatives like incentive payments, government disbursements, payroll and expense management
Philippine banks pass stress test with flying colours
Philippine banks stand strong withstanding a stress testing scenario where various lenders are forced to write off loans as large as P36.6b ($858m) without asking shareholders, the central bank or the national government for bailout money. According to Johnny Noe Ravalo, BSP managing director, the banks can well afford to lose this much money in one huge lump without them tumbling down like a house of cards andor asking the regulator or even...
Maybank Islamic launches affluent card
Maybank Islamic has unveiled Maybank Islamic Ikhwan Visa Infinite, a card that it claims offers the best one-for-one privileges from flight tickets, dining to golf Maybank Islamic chief executive officer Muzaffar Hisham said the launch is in line with the bank's commitment to empower card members with its suite of privileges that extend from luxury travel to fine dining.
Malaysian AUM to double until 2015
Malaysias domestic private banking industry is expected to continue its double-digit growth rates over the next five years, forecasts Lim Hong Tat, deputy president and head community financial services, Maybank. According to recent research reports, Malaysia has around 32,000 HNWIs with liquid & investible assets worth $143b in 2010 Looking forward, Malaysia is expected to grow its wealth segment to 68,000 HNWIs by 2015 with investable...
Hana Bank to expand to Southeast Asian market
South Korean Hana Bank will tap fast-growing overseas markets such as Southeast Asia announced its chief executive officer Kim Jong Jun Well first expand our existing presence there and may seek acquisitions later to penetrate local markets in economies including China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, said Kim, who took office last month
American Express, TNS roll out new payment service provider solution
American Express and Transaction Network Services (TNS) have unveiled a new payment service provider solution which leverages a single-source for online payment functionality The solution, known as American Express Payment Gateway, will allow all types of businesses to manage e-commerce and other card-not-present transactions and will provide fraud and card data security for the transactions
Huanan the First Taiwanese Bank Approved for RMB Transactions
Taiwans Huanan Bank has been approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to handle RMB-based transactions in its branch in Shenzhen, making it the first Taiwanese bank to gain such approval Huanans Shenzhen branch was the last among Taiwanese banks to be inaugurated on June 20th, 2011 in China, but is the first to obtain approval for RMB transactions, which is expected to start early next month
HSBC to sell its Pakistan and Korea units
Following the banks new strategy to focus on its core markets, HSBC is said to be in talks to sell its operations in Pakistan and is about to finalise the sale of its South Korean retail and wealth management businesses to Korea Development Bank.
Japan's MUFG goes "all-in" on cloud client computing
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) nears completion of desktop virtualization and mobility solution project leveraging on Wyse Technology's cloud client computing solutionfor 90% of its workforce MUFG is deploying 50,000 Wyse devices as part of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) implementation designed to protect itself and its customers against critical information leakage while streamlining processes and workflow Once the implementation...
Axis Bank deploys 200 cash deposit machines
Axis Bank has announced the deployment of 200 cash deposit machines in various branches in 90 cities across India. Indias third largest private sector bank has installed the deposit machines with the aim to provide its customers with a 24x7 convenience of cash deposit with instant credit.
Local incorporation of Cambodia operations for Maybank
Maybank has locally incorporated its operations in Cambodia, and aims to rank among the top five banks in Cambodia by 2015. Maybank set up its first branch in Cambodia in 1993, and currently Maybank Cambodia is ranked seventh in terms of assets among 33 banks operating in Cambodia.
DirectCash to acquire Customers Limited
ATM provider DirectCash Payments has struck a deal to acquire Australian ATM company, Customers Limited, for approximately $179m. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012. DirectCash has 7,900 ATMs in Canada and some other countries, but that number will grow to about 14,200 once the deal is completed.
Asian private banks overlook key $1-5m segment
Private banks in Asia are overlooking key segments while they chase ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) and are missing out on a potential $25bn each year as a consequence, according to research from global consultancy Oliver Wyman. The core wealth segment, those with $1-5m in investable assets, is under-served in the eight Asian countries examined, the research said. There is $11.4trn in unmanaged wealth in the region with around $3trn...
eBay and PayPal expect a stronger foothold in India
Global online auctions firm eBay and its payments subsidiary PayPal have announced plans to forge closer ties with India, and invest further in e-commerce. eBay is currently tapping into Indias e-commerce markets by selling fixed-price consumer electronics such as cameras, mobile phones, laptops and TV sets, which amount for an 80% of its returns, according to figures by the company.
Changes for the better?
Financial journalists like to see innovation because it is something new and interesting to write about; analysts love inno- vation as it means the bank is doing some- thing that can hopefully negate the many unresolved problems from the last crisis.
Global Payments: Security breach fall-out
The rumour-mill has been running all week regarding a security breach suffered by Global Payments in the US In a conference call for investors, the companys CEO Paul Garcia did not spend much time elaborating on the cause of the problem, but did make efforts to definite its scope
StanChart launches unified account for NRIs
Standard Chartered has launched a new unified account aimed at making it easier for non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the UAE to access various financial products in India. The NRI 3-in-1 account is a one-stop shop for banking products for the 65% of the population of the UAE of Indian descent. The service combines non-resident bank accounts, including portfolio investment services, with demat accounts (which allow Indian citizens to trade in...
Bank Mandiri builds cross-departmental BI capability
Bank Mandiri appointeda consortium of technology solution providers, namely Bina Indonusa System and iCreate Software, to buildits business intelligence (BI) infrastructure to empower its micro and retail banking The project entails consulting, analytics, software development and reporting automation spanning Bank Mandiri's three key functions - mass banking, e-banking and wealth management
Hong Kong's credit card reform triggers upswing
A number of retail banks in Hong Kong announced to raise interest rates and fees on credit cards, shortly after the rollout of the third stage of the credit card reform which actually aimed to increase transparency andbring downinterest rates and fees to the benefit of consumers
RuPay set to challenge Visa and MasterCard
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched a new debit card for RuPay, the Indian domestic card payment network, hoping to make debit card payments safer by incorporating a PIN number with each transaction
Axis Bank strengthens presence in merchant acquiring biz
Axis Bank is the first Indian bank to cross 200,000 point of sale (PoS) terminal installations in the merchant acquiring space in the country. Axis Bank PoS network is present across all major retail segments, as well as hospitals, education institutions, government utility payments in over 692 cities Srinivasan, executive director, corporate banking at Axis Bank said; We are moving towards a cashless economy with increasing number of card...
China's bank profits up - as always
Chinas banking sector continues to grow healthily with solid profit and loan growth.Weakened exports and tightened of mortgage lending regulation,could be more than compensated through relaxed capital requirements and growing interest margins. China Merchants Bank (CMB), the country's sixth-largest lender by assets, announced a 2011 net profit of RMB36.1b ($5.7b), 40.2% yoy higher than in 2010 due to higher interest margins and fee income Net...
Hana Financial open to insurer acquisition according to Chairman Kim
Koreas Hana Financial Group, which completed the countrys biggest banking takeover of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) in February 2012, will seek to buy an insurer to shore up its existing business, announces its Chairman Kim Jung Tai Insurance is the weakest part among Hana Financial Groups operations, Kim told reporters in Seoul in his first briefing since taking over this week We have interest in that area and will look into it when good...
Renzo Viegas new group deputy CEO of CIMB
CIMB has appointed Renzo Viegas as group deputy CEO and head of consumer banking of CIMB Bank from April 2012 He will be heading the Malaysia consumer bank as well as provide oversight for the Singapore and Cambodia markets
Indonesian Telekomsel and BNI team up on mobile wallet
Indonesia's largest telecom, Telkomsel, and state lender Bank Negara Indonesia have created a partnership to allow BNI account holders top up their Telkomsel mobile wallets via ATM transfers.
Singapore's credit card payment discipline on the rise
Figures released by the CBS showed that 12.6% of consumers missed at least one payment on one or more of their credit cards last year, as compared to 13.9% in 2009 and 12.9% in 2010.Mr William Lim, executive director of the CBS, identifies Singapores low unemployment rate, as well as more informed lending by banks, as possible reasons for last year's low While the numbers fell across the age groups last year, those between 30 and 39 made up...
Islamic banking not feasible in India
RBI has informed that in the current statutory and regulatory framework, it is not legally feasible for banks in India to undertake Islamic banking activities in India or for branches of Indian banks abroad to undertake Islamic banking outside India," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena told the Council of States, the upper house of the Parliament of India, in a written reply
Timon Tam new head of investment consulting, North Asia Bank Sarasin
Timon Tam Hang joins Bank Sarasin as a managing director and head of investment consulting, North Asia
London and New York to remain top for 10 years
Global wealth continues to shift to Asia, but London and New York are likely to remain the most important cities for HNWIs for another 10 years, according to a report by Citi Private Bank and estate agents Knight Frank. The Wealth Report says that the Asia-Pacific (the region covering China, SE Asia and Japan) now has more centa-millionaires (those with over $100m in assets) than North America or Western Europe. Citi surveyed its wealth...
Citibank Korea goes for the emerging affluent
Citibank Korea announced that it will target a new segment, the emerging affluent holding with financial assets of more than KRW 20m ($18,000) About 11 million people are classified in the group, according to the bank.We will provide innovative products and services to the emerging affluent class, said Citis country CEO Ha Yung-ku in a statement Ha said that the lender will offer the best solutions to help new customers increase their...
OCBC launches "Pay Any Card" service
OCBC Bank launched a new service, named Pay Any Card, allowing its customers to pay all their credit cards bills conveniently through its alterative channels OCBC Banks Pay Any Cardallows the payment of Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards via OCBC's internet and mobile banking channels The service will be extended to iPads and OCBC ATMs later in the year.
Metrobank Card implements FICO solution to combat fraud
Metrobank Card (MCC), a joint venture between the Philippines Metrobank and ANZ Bank, has implemented FICO Falcon Fraud Manager with the aim of protecting its growing base of credit card holders and mitigate losses from fraud. MCC has adopted FICO Falcon Fraud Manager with the aim of ensuring maximum protection at a time when the Philippines is experiencing rapid growth in its consumer credit business.
Pakistan's MCB launches Visa chip card
Pakistan-based MCB Bank has launched the first chip-based EMV debit card by Visa in the country. The bank said it aims to increase the use of cards at the point of sale and that customer card use at ATMs and POS were already worth PKR2bn and PKR100m respectively.
HNW clients rise sharply at CCB
China Construction Bank (CCB) has reported a sharp rise in the number of HNW clients it handles. The bank announced in its 2011 annual results that the number of clients it has with more than RMB10m ($1.6m) grew by 28% last year. However CCB did not publish any information about the income, profits, or the size of its asset or client base in its private banking unit.
Chinese HNW client behaviours
HNWIs who have higher education are more likely to believe being wealthy means being more socially responsible, are more likely to establish a relationship with a foreign bank and have a greater appetite for risk.
Axis Bank revamps branches
Indias third largest private sector lender, Axis Bank, is changing the layout and look of its branches and aims to have 150 new look branches operational across Indiaby the end of March. According to the chief marketing officer of Axis Bank, Manisha Lath Gupta, the idea behind the revamp is that people should feel attracted from outside to walk into a branch, which are brand ambassadors for the bank.
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Swiff aims to crack cashless payments market
Swiff, a new mobile payments platform, is said to revolutionise mobile cashless payments by creating a new standard for security and instantaneous cashless payments between consumers, merchants and banks using mobile phones and tablets as POS terminals Swiff starts under the premise to empower more merchants to accept card payments thus increasing speed, efficiency and convenience of retail payments, while bringing down infrastructure cost...
SWIFT Index indicate potential recovery in OECD
After the slowdown in Q4 2011, the index data shows a 2% year-on-year growth in Q1 2012 and a forecasted 2.3% year-on-year growth for Q2 2012 The SWIFT Index gives a reliable indication of the economic activity evolution based on the volume of SWIFT customer payments messages The Index, which was announced in Q3 2011, acts as a fact-based, leading indicator of the evolution of the aggregate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of OECD countries
Lombard Odier enters Australia partnering JBWere
Lombard Odier enters the Australian market through the established network of JBWere to offer clients in Australia and New Zealand access to the Swiss private banks investment tools, research and platforms
Taking the web-based route for mobile rollout
Banks have been actively developing mobile applications to follow the new zeitgeist of mobile appstriggered by Apples iPhone Very often this unfortunately resulted in iPhones centric initiatives neglecting other platforms With Android up and coming and Blackberry and Microsoft still in the race, many customers are left out
Amrit Singh heads Deutsche's global Indian division
Deutsche Bank announced today the appointment of Amrit Singh as head of private wealth management global South Asia with immediate effect. Singh is responsible for setting and overseeing the strategic direction of a team comprising more than 70 executives servicing the needs of ultra high net worth clients of South Asian origin
RBS to close more Asian operations
RBS will close the cash equities, equity capital markets and corporate finance units in Korea, as well as the cash equities operations in Indonesia and Singapore, Yuk Min Hui, a spokeswoman for RBS in Hong Kong, said in an e- mailed response to queries
BI to build national integrated payment system
Bank Indonesia is preparing an integrated payment system connecting the existing four ATM Networks in a national payment gateway (NPG) to increase payment efficiency He added: We have a large market, so we have a payment system which we manage ourselves.The CEO of PT Finnet Indonesia, Walden R
Citi awarded purchasing card mandate for Hong Kong's mass transit
Citis Treasury and Trade Solutions, part of the Global Transaction Services division, has been appointed to provide purchasing card services to the MTR Corporation, Hong Kongs mass transit railway provider. The comprehensive purchasing card solution, coupled with an expense management system and merchant acquiring services, provides MTR Corporation with a streamlined procurement and expense management process, enhanced control and greater...
UOB Wealth Banking attracts 25,000 in 3 months
UOB has expanded its emerging affluent business by S$260m ($205m) in assets under management (AUM) and attracted 25,000 customers in the first three months since its launch in November 2011 Through its new frontline tool UOB Wealth Insights, which provides customised market information based on Thomson Reuters data, the bank wants to introduce new asset classes to its customers.
Morgan Stanley secures banking licence in Singapore
Morgan Stanley has received a wholesale banking licence in Singapore, signaling a reorganisation and expansion of its Asian private banking business. Approval was granted on February 13 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Morgan Stanley then transferred its wealth management business from the groups local entities to a Swiss subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
Payvision Expands Footprint in Asia
Payvision has expanded its presence on the Asian continent by partnering with Banco Weng Hang in Macau Payvision's promotes itself as a trusted advisor building business relationships by sharing expertise and insight in the complexities of global card processing is fundamental in a market space.
SBI rolls out Mobicash m-banking trial
State Bank of India (SBI) has rolled out a mobile banking project in New Delhi and Mumbai dubbed Mobicash to target the unbanked segment of the market. Mobicash will offer customers the option to load cash onto their mobile phone handset in a joint venture with service provider, Oxygen. A one-off fee of INR60 ($1.20) will be charged to customers registering to use the service with Mobicash requiring a minimum opening deposit of INR200.
Taiwan's E.Sun partners with China's Alipay to settle cross border online payments
Sun Commercial Bank entered a partnership with Chinas leading online payment service provider, Alipay, in a joint effort to tap e-commerce opportunities across the Taiwan Strait. Sun Bank chairman Gary Tseng said a media briefing in Taipei: The joint venture aims to facilitate online transactions between Taiwanese firms and their Chinese customers
Citi fine tunes India segmentation strategy with Citibanking
Citigroup's India-based retail banking unit has launched 'Citibanking' aimed at customers who maintain a minimum balance of INR200,000 ($4,002) with the bank. The sector consists primarily of salaried professionals as well self-employed individuals with an annual income of between INR300,000 and INR1.5m.
Bank of Beijing partners with Banco Santander to develop consumer finance business
China's Bank of Beijing, which is 16% owned by ING Groep NV, plans to partner with the euro zone's biggest lender, Spain's Santander, to develop its consumer financing business. Santander's consumer financing unit plans to buy a 20% strategic stake in Bank of Beijing's consumer financing subsidiary for RMB306m ($48.51m), the Chinese lender said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The partnership will make the consumer...
Vineet Vohra HSBC's new Asia Pacific head of Wealth Development
Based in Hong Kong,Vohra will drive the delivery of the Banks wealth management strategy by leading the build out of its wealth management capabilities in Asia. Louisa Cheang, HSBCs Group General Manager and Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Asia Pacific, said, The fast growing and large pools of wealth being created in Asia will stimulate increased demand for wealth management solutions
HSBC's selling spree continues - Axa and QBE take over general insurance
HSBC and Hang Seng Bank have agreed to sell their general insurance businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore, Argentina and Mexico to Axa and QBE, representing further progress in the execution of its new strategy to focus on its core business and markets
StanChart announced Tim Hinton new global head of SME banking
Tim Hinton, formerly head of private banking, UK & Jersey, has been appointed as global head, SME Banking for Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) Hinton will be responsible for strategy and driving growth of the Banks SME business in 30 countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
OCBC hopes to position its Plus!Visa cards as customers' preferred choice through an ambitious discount scheme
OCBC Bank announced enhanced the benefits and rewards of its Plus! Visa and NTUC Plus! Visa credit cards. Cardholders can reap savings of about 8% a month through discounts and LinkPoint rebates for purchases of daily essentials ranging from groceries and healthcare to petrol and transport. The bank says that such savings are unmatched in the market and expects Plus! Visa cards to become the most frequently used card by the end of 2012.
IndusInd Bank kicks off new retail financial services- Bollywood style
The Cash-On-Mobile function enables customers to transfer money to anybody (including himself) irrespective of whether the beneficiary has an IndusInd Bank account or not from the mobile application to the beneficiarys mobile number
StanChart: Emerging markets growth engine of the next economic super cycle
Standard Chartered adjusted its long term investment strategy to a strategic asset allocation model gearing more towards emerging markets, taking into account economic super cycle factorson risk and return So far there have three economic super cycles; the first from 1870 to 1913, when world GDP grew y 2.7%, the second from 1946 to 1973 with 5.0% world GDP growth, andthe third from 2000-2030 where the global GDP is expected to expand by 3.6%,...
HSBC Global Asset Management names Sten Ankarcrona new Singapore chief
HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed Sten Ankarcrona as chief executive officer for HSBC Global Asset Management Singapore, with effect from 1 March 2012 He succeeds Patrick Tse, who will return to Hong Kong to take up a regional business management role with HSBC Global Asset Management.
Itzcash makes gifting easier
Itzcash launched ItzGift, a wide array of gifting cards and vouchers of leading retail brands making it easy for customers to find the right gift card for almost every occasion With this new value proposition Itzcash hopes to usher in an evolutionary change in the mundane gift giving practice Naveen Surya, Managing Director, Itz Cash Card Ltd., commenting on this occasion said Gifting is an emotional bond that seeks to impress and express...
The "Bloomberg Terminal" evolves
Bloomberg announced the launch of Bloomberg Next, the latest upgrade of the Bloomberg LP service, also known as the Bloomberg Terminal Bloomberg invested a year of work and over $100m to make the interface of its flagship product more intuitive, user friendly and uniform. Bloomberg Next is designed to make the navigation easier by offering an improved search engine, who understands who the user is
Airtel launches mobile money service across India
Available across 300 key cities in India - airtel money is a fast, simple and secure service that allows its users to load cash on their mobile devices and spend it to pay utility bills and recharges, shop at 7,000 merchant outlets, transact online etc Apart from serving as an easy alternative to cash card payment options, airtel money has now become the first mobile based service to offer customers the convenience of instant money transfer...
MasterCard boosts Utiba's Converging Payments
MasterCard has put its weight behind the Singaporean mobile payments company Utiba to roll out a converging payments strategy. This strategy aims to bring banking services to the underbanked segments of the world, said Utibas Co-CEO Richard Matotek. He said: "Partnering with MasterCard is a first step in launching Utiba's Converging Payments strategy, which calls for the intersection of mobile wallets with traditional card based payments"
LDF's benefits underlined in Singapore
Wealth management firm Kaiser Partner has highlighted the relevance of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) for UK individuals in Singapore. The LDF was introduced in 2009 to help UK taxpayers with undeclared investments in Liechtenstein to come forward and get their past and future tax affairs settled. Over 100 private client professionals gathered in Singapore earlier this week to hear Kaiser Partner boardmember Philip Marcovici...
UOB ends year with strong funding, but lower profits
UOB Group (Group) recorded a quarterly net profit of S$558m ($445m), an increase of 7.0% as compared with the last quarter Operating profit was strong and rose 16.8% to S$853m as core businesses continued to grow For the year ended 31 December 2011 (FY11), core net profit after tax was S$2.33b, 4.1% lower compared with last year.
Movida: New m-payment platform in India
Monitise and Visas joint venture in India Movida expects to roll out a new mobile payments platform this year. Movida sealed a deal with Indias second largest bank HDFC which initially enables a selected number of its customers to make basic payments with their mobile phones. The platform, which is open to all mobile networks, allows HDFC bank registered users to make mobile bill payments, buy movie tickets and mobile phone prepaid recharge.
SBI set to take over State Bank of Mysore
State Bank of India (SBI) is set to take over State Bank of Mysore (SBM) as Indias largest lender ramps up its consolidation strategy. Following on from merging with regional lenders State Bank of Saurashtra in 2008 and State Bank of Indore in 2010, the deal with SBM is expected to prelude mergers with larger lenders such as State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Hyderabad.
HDFC Bank to set up loan kiosks in 500 corporate offices
HDFC Bank, Indias second largest private sector lender, plans to set up kiosks at corporate houses with the aim of making personal loan borrowingeasier for the employees. Theloan kiosksaim to cut-down the time for getting personal loans to just one or two days, unlike the current process where most banks take up to two weeks.
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Google restores wallet service
Google has restored its wallet service on 14 February, after battling criticism for being unsafe. Osama Bedier, vice President, Google Wallet and Payments,wroteon the companys blogging site: We restored the ability to issue new prepaid cards to the Wallet.
AmEx gift cards in India - Localised yet different
American Express (AmEx) once the worlds first provider of travel prepaid through its traveller checks business, today seeks to capitalise its expertise in the East, particularly in India. The business model is corporate-centric, meaning that AmEx provides corporates with branded and unbranded prepaid cards, usually gift cards, which they can distribute to customers, employees as a gift to raise customer and employee loyalty.
'Hana N Wallet' - Virtual wallet? But Real!
Hana Bank, well-known for being a smart phone banking pioneer in South Korea, launched a new digital wallet service called Hana N Wallet earlier this month P2P Money transfer: Convenient money transfer without account number and troublesome public certificate key which Korean regulator requires to online financial trading users in South Korea.
Bank Indonesia may sanction UOB over alleged abuse of client
With the court proceedings still ongoing into the death of a customer while in the hands of Citibank debt collectors, the central bank is under new pressure to act on public outcry over reported physical abuse by Bank UOB Indonesia debt collectors.
Singapore set for family offices boom
Singapore is expected to fully embrace the more traditional family office model, according to a report written by Richard Wilson, founder of the Family Offices Group association. The city-state should be a prime location for family offices since the report notes Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaire households and 15.5% of all its households have at least $1 million in assets under management (AUM).
CBA posts rise in private banking income
Net interest income at CBAs private banking division grew from $86m for the second half of 2010 compared to $91m for the same period in 2011, a rise of 5.8%.
Google Wallet hit by vulnerability claims
Google Wallet's success story has taken a hit when a senior engineer at a Colorado, US-based security firm developed an app that can crack the four-digit PIN of the wallet. The engineer, Joshua Rubin, from zvelo, developed the Wallet Cracker app and showed just how vulnerable Google is to fraudsters on a video posted on hisblog.
SBI posts 15.4% jump in net profit in 3Q11
Indias largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has reported a 15.4% jump in standalone net profit withINR32.6bn ($663m) for the three months to 31 December 2011, up from INR28.3bn in the same period a year ago. SBIs net interest income increased by 26.7% year-on-year to INR114.7bn in December 2011 from INR90.5bn.
Western Union drives diversification strategy to SMEs
Key milestones for the expansion of the business solutions proposition were the acquisitions of Canadian forex provider Custom House in September 2009 and the recent acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments in November 2011, raising Western Unions business customer base to 95,000 clients and turned it into the leading non bank player in the estimated $24-billion international SME cross-border business payments market.
New FATCA proposals outline road map to end of banking secrecy?
The United States Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued proposed regulations on information reporting by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and withholding on certain payments to FFIs and other foreign entities on February 9th 2012 to implement a step-by-step process for U.S
Western Union drives business solutions diversification strategy
Key milestones for the expansion of the business solutions proposition were the acquisitions of Canadian forex provider Custom House in September 2009 and the recent acquisition of Travelex Global Business Payments in November 2011, raising Western Unions business customer base to 95,000 clients and turned it into the leading non bank player in the estimated $24-billion international SME cross-border business payments market.
Standard Chartered in talks to buy HSBC's Bangladesh retail units
Standard Chartered (StanChart) is reportedly in talks to buy HSBCs consumer banking operations in Bangladesh and the negotiations are still at an early stage. StanChart is the largest overseas bank in Bangladesh with a network of 26 branches and 57 ATMs.The lenderpreviously strengthened its position in Bangladesh with the purchase of the South Asian and Middle Eastern operations of ANZ Grindlays Bank in 2000.
NAB kicks off Clydesdale, Yorkshire strategic review
National Australia Banks (NAB) enthusiasm for retaining its UK-based Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands is once again in doubt. NAB has commenced a strategic review, and will work with UK management to appropriately reposition its business mix and structure for the changed economic environment and improve returns.
Citi approved to issue credit cards in China
Citigroups (Citi) China unit has reportedly been permitted to issue credit cards in China, becoming the onlynon-Asianlender in the country to beallowed to do so Among foreign banks, currently just the China unit of Hong-Kong Bank of East Asia has a credit card operation on the mainland.
PayPal partners MasterCard to launch prepaid card
PayPal has partnered with MasterCard to launch a new payment card that enables customers to spend and withdraw money from their PayPal account at POS terminals and ATMs. The initiative means that a PayPal Access Prepaid MasterCard holder who receives a PayPal payment can spend or withdraw the money straight away with the card, without the need to transfer the funds to a bank account.
StanChart: India presents first-half challenge
After enjoying strong growth over many years, the first half of the current fiscal year was especially challenging for Standard Chartered (StanChart) in India, but there are a number of mitigating factors.
ICICI Bank net profit increases 20% in Q3
Indias largest private sector lender ICICI Banks has reported a third quarter net profit of INR17.28bn ($348.7m), a 20% increase year-on-year. ICICIs loan book expanded robustly by 19% year-on-year to INR2.46trn, in the three months period, contributing to the strong performance. Retail loans have the highest share of over 33% out of the entire loan book.
Bank of Singapore: Singaporean HNWIs more pessimistic about 2012 than other markets
Being asked whether2012 will be a better year, Singapores respondents were the only ones to be pessimistic Only about 45% of the respondents expect 2012 to be better, which was deliberately defined vaguely Their key concern is about the housing market which has been cooled down by the government since 2011 to deter speculation
Kotak Mahindra buys Barclays' non performing credit card portfolio
Kotak Mahindra Bank has acquired the non-performing portfolio of Barclays Banks credit card business in India The move revives the activity on the stressed loan market after in India, which has lay idle sincetougher regulation was introduced in 2007.
Citi launches First Account Analysis tools for credit card customers on iPad
Citibank (Citi) has launched a new visual tracking and account analysis tool on its Citibank for iPad Appfor credit card customers in the US. Citi launched the initial version of its app for iPad in July 2011, becoming the first major US bank to offer graphs and visual representations of consumer banking accounts and transactions.
PwC Banana Skins: Global risk is on the rise
Not surprisingly, macro-economic risk topped the charts in the latest Banana Skins Survey 2012 by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a risk outlook for the financial services industry in 2012 The continuous crisis in Europe, a vegetating US economy and tough regulation making banking more costly are the key drivers of this damp outlook Credit risk maintained a top position (#2) driven of course by concerns over sovereign debt, but also increasingly over...
Singapore, Malaysia said to facilitate cross border expansion soon
Malaysia and Singapore are considering a reciprocal agreement that will allow lenders like Singapore's DBS Group to expand into Malaysia, The Edge reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed industry source. 'There is talk that a quid pro quo arrangement is being looked into by the two governments - and this will enable DBS to enter Malaysia,' it quoted the source as saying In return, Malaysian banks like CIMB Group Holdings may be allowed to...
Axis partners with Samba to facilitate remittances from Saudi Arabia
Axis Bank announced its tie up withSamba Financial Group, SaudiArabia, for remitting money from Saudi Arabia to India through Speed Cash This will facilitate the remittance of money to India through Axis Bank accounts or any of the 78,000 NEFT enabledbranchesof over 100 other banks in India
Aussie banks keep axing
Aussie banks have slashed over 3000 jobs in 2011 and banks are expected announce more job cuts in 2012 as a mean to restructure and manage costs. We would expect several hundreds more (jobs) to disappear in the first six months of this year from ANZ and we haven't got a clear answer yet from elsewhere in the banks," FSU national secretary Leon Carter told AAP.
Driving competitive advantage in debit cards
In an increasing number of markets in the Asia Pacific region debit card growth continues to outpace credit card growth The number of debit card transactions exceeded credit card transactions in India for the first time ever in July 2011 In Australia Debit growth continues to outpace credit, and Banking Day reported that some industry observers say they see a secular shift in the use of credit cards by consumers
People: Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Sino Payments to benefit from TAP Investments agreement with Bank of Communications
Sino Payments will benefit from the new agreement of its future merger partner TAP Investments Group with Bank of Communications (Guangdong Province) under which Bank of Communications will join TAPs Retail Alliance. The agreement between TAP subsidiary, Value Exchange International and Bank of Communications will see the bank introduce its credit cardholders to visit one of TAPs retailers in Hong Kong & Macau Special Administrative...
Singapore banks push for more secure cash withdrawals and card payments
The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced a number of security enhancements to make Singapores payments infrastructure safer These include sending out transaction alerts, issuance of deactivated credit and debit cards, transaction signing for online banking transactions and reducing the reliance on and use of magnetic stripes.
Debit card spending increases by 20% for Maybank
Spending on Maybank debit cards has grown by more than 20% in the 12 months to November 2011, and the number of debit cardholders has also increased by over 8% during the same period.
MCB, Euronet launch EMV card
Pakistan's Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) and Euronet Pakistan launched an EMV debit card claiming it is the first of its kind in Pakistan. The service and product meet global EMV standards in security and regulations, said MCB after a project test phase.
OCBC's Conner retires - Samuel Tsien will be the new CEO
OCBC Bank announced the retirement of Mr David Conner as Chief Executive Officer on 14 April 2012. He will be succeeded by Mr Samuel Tsien, who is currently the Banks Global Head of Global Corporate Bank. At the same time, OCBC Bank has announced the promotion of Mr Ching Wei Hong, currently the Head of Global Consumer Financial Services, to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. The new appointments will take effect from 15...
VeriFone's new POS generation builds on NFC and mobile devices
VeriFone has introduced its latest series point-of-sale (POS) devices, turning payments into a byproduct. The devices are described as a payment-enabled media solution to deliver multimedia, content and payments. Retailers can push relevant content to consumers on the fly, accept mobile wallets, offer digital couponing and loyalty programs, and connect with location-based social media.
Getting the branch right - in practice!
DBS in Singapore and Commonwealth Bank in Australia are just two of the latest generation of players to launch stunning new concepts But whilst this latest wave of creativity is to be welcomed, improvements are still long overdue in many of the regional banks networks
ICICI customers to use Facebook to access bank account
Indias largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, plans to launch an app called Your Bank Account to enable customers to use its Facebook page to access their bank accounts.
HSBC: U-turn on Thai credit card loan growth ambitions
HSBC is said to make a U-turn on its credit card loan growth strategy in Thailand and sell its business to Bank of Ayudhya.
The China HNW Market in 2012
The High Net Worth market is growing faster in China than anywhere else. By 2015 the number of High Net Worth Individuals will more than double to number 2.1 million. This is a vital group for the private banking sector to understand and engage with effectively.
Ameriprise launches financial services in India
India has traditionally been a difficult market for foreign private banks and wealth managers to break into because of its regulatory environment and intense local competition.
Celent: Mobile banking to become mainstream in 2012, corporate banking lagging
Mobile banking is set to become mainstream in 2012, with all but one of the top 12 banks offering mobile bankingand those in the lower tiers desperately trying to catch up, says financial consultancy Celent.
Bank of Commerce Philippines deploys FICO solutions for profit growth, risk management
Bank of Commerce Philippinesis using FICOs decision management and analytics solutions to manage risk better and drive profitability in its newly launched consumer credit product line. Adopting the new solutions by the global analytics and decision management technology vendor FICO is aimed at enabling Bank of Commerce to develop the management skills to apply scoring solutions effectively and manage credit portfolios profitably.
SC First Bank renames itself to Standard Chartered Bank Korea
SC First Bank, the Korea unit of Standard Chartered, has renamed itself Standard Chartered Bank Korea in a bid to strengthen the link between the local unit and its parent group The previous name, SC First Bank, has been in use since the British banking group acquired the First Bank of Korea in 2005
MAS' customer knowledge assessment deters inexperienced investors
The customer knowledge assessment (CKA), a new requirement imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which came into full effect on January 1st, 2012, intensifies the slowdown of new investment accounts The CKA requires all distributors of unit trusts and other financial instruments to assess potential investors by their investment experience before being able to sell them an investment product. Fundsupermart, Singapore's largest...
Indonesia's central bank implements tough credit card regulation
Bank Indonesia (BI) has tightened rules for credit cards limiting charges and introduced more controls as well as a cap on interest rates While banks generally welcome the new regulation, they do not agree with the interference with interest rates.
HSBC Amanah to issue sukuk for retail investors
HSBC Amanah iscompleting itsIslamic product portfolio introducing a new retail bond product enabling retail investors to take part in the countries booming sukuk bond market. Malaysia is a leading player in the global sukuk market accounting for 60% of the worlds Islamic bond market today
Visa certifies more NFC phones for Visa payWave
The Samsung Galaxy SII, LG Optimus NET NFC, BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Bold 9790, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 have been added to the list of Visa compliant payment products available for commercial deployment by financial institutions.
India's private sector banks more prone for fraud than public banks?
Indian private sector banks only account for 25% of the market, but the number of banking fraud is five times higher than in public sector banks (PSB)
200 DBS customers fall victim to fraudulent ATM withdrawals
DBS announced in a statement that about 200 customers reported unauthorised withdrawals made in Malaysia through their DBSPOSB ATMDebit card. On Friday morning the bank estimated that funds worth S$200,000 ($155,000) were withdrawn unauthorised since January 4th.
Westpac stumbles across classification error in its mortgage book
Australian regulator APRA has called for an explanation after Westpac revealed that it had incorrectly classified $28.8 billion in property loans for up to three years Since November 2008, the bank had recorded some home loans as belonging to owner-occupiers rather than investment purposes The mix-up occurred in cases whereby a borrower paid down their owner-occupied mortgages and used that equity to buy investment properties.
BDO wins approval for consolidation of subsidies
Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO) has obtained approval from corporate regulators to consolidate five subsidiaries as part of ongoing measures to enhance group-wide operating efficiency to counter the increasingly challenging operating environment in 2012.
Wealth management sales in China double
Sales of wealth management products by Chinese banks more than doubled last year to an estimated RMB 15.5 tr ($2.46 tr) up from RMB 7.05 tr in 2010, the official Financial News reported on Wednesday. The average annualised return on wealth management products was 4.14 % in the first nine months of last year, higher than the one year bank deposit rate of 3.5 percent, the newspaper said.
Japanese mobile operators create NFC consortium
The Japan NFC Mobile Consortium, established by NTT Docomo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile, aims to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for NFC technologies in mobile devices and services. The consortium already offers customers the option of conducting mobile payments using the long-established (but non-NFC) Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet, which is based on Sony's contactless-IC smartcard FeliCa.
SBI calls off merchant acquiring JV with Visa
State Bank of India has called off a future joint venture with Visa and Elavon to enter the merchant acquiring business over differences on sharing technology The board formally decided to call off the joint venture negotiations as Visa did not want to share technology expertise in building the business State Bank of India wanted to build the technology in house," a senior SBI official said according to The Economic Times India
Chinese e-commerce giant Alipay spins off rewards platform
Named Jifen Bao, the new platform with an initial capital of RMB10m ($1.57m) enables clients to redeem points to make small purchases on Alibaba's e-commerce empire, to pay utility bills and make donations to charity.
Credit Suisse buys over HSBC's private bank in Japan
Credit Suisse is acquiring HSBC's private banking business in Japan, only two years after the launch its onshore private banking business. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in mid-2012
ICICI Bank launched dual credit card(s)
ICICI Bank launched a platinum credit card, called Rubyx, in partnership with American Express and MasterCard The new credit card offers dual benefits wherein a cardholder will receive two cards.
Bank Mandiri and Malaysia's central bank move towards deal on local subsidy
Malaysias central bank has relaxed requirements for state-run Bank Mandiri to start Malaysian operations in late 2012, after the Indonesian lender is challenging regulatory requirements on minimum initial capital, branch limitations and ATM installment restrictions.
Norris: Banks will pass on Basel III costs to customers
Ralph Norris, former chief executive of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), criticised once more the hasty adoption of Basel III requirements and said that governments had to share responsibility for increased borrowing costs, given they have been all too ready to back tough new banking rules.
Citibank Japan CEO Buckley to resign after regulatory punishment
Citis Japan CEO, Darren Buckley, will step down next month after the lender was punished by local regulators for the third time in seven years. Peter Eliot, currently head of Citi in Thailand, will temporarily replace Buckley while the bank seeks a Japanese national to fill the role on a permanent basis.
Senior people moves in Asia-Pacific
Indian banks agree to terminate penalty fees
The decisions were taken at a meeting between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the bankers lobby Indian Banks Association (IBA) on Friday December 16, hours after the central bank signalled an end to the cycle of rising interest rates that started in March 2010, according to bankers who participated in the meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bank of Singapore expands management team
OCBC-owned Bank of Singapore (BoS) has restructured its risk and compliance function and appointed new chief operating and financial officers as the bank continues to expand its operations
Indonesian central bank acts on recent fraud incidents
Bank Indonesia (BI) has announced three new anti-fraud policies as it steps up measures to protect bank customers from embezzlement practices that have recently hit clients of the countrys two major banks.
Nokia launches "Nokia Money" - a prepaid mobile wallet across India
Nokia has launched its Nokia Money service across India allowing customers to use their mobile phones as a wallet that can be used to make payments, without actually requiring a bank account
Credit Suisse favours Chinese, Hong Kong and Indonesian equities for 2012
The bank recommends to overweight equities and alternative investments and to underweight bonds and cash due to a sluggish forecast for the global economy caused by the Euro debt crisis.
Axis Bank to increase retail operations in small towns
Axis Bank aims at increasing the share of retail loans to 30% of total loans from the current 21% in the next three years, according to senior vice-president and head consumer lending and payments for Axis Bank, Jairam Shridharan.
India: 10 Million Gemalto smart card users
Gemalto has 10m Financial Inclusion Network & Operations (FINO) customers in India using micro-banking applications on its smart cards, the digital security company said.
MasterCard sees emerging market's consumption to drive global economy
Consumers in emerging markets will drive value creation and growth in the worlds economy over the coming five years in a major shift in global consumption from West to East.The new report Consumer Spending Outlook and Value Creation in the New Global Economy says that between 2012 and 2016, emerging markets will add an average of $1.2tr of consumer spending to the global economy per year, whereas developed markets will add only around $700b.
BPC Banking Technologies inks deal with Golomt Bank, Mongolia
Golomt Bank tapped BPCs SmartATM solution to manage its ATM network across the country as part of an ongoing program to promote the use of state-of-the-art technology and processes to enhance its service quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Standard Chartered makes banking easier for the visually-impaired
Standard Chartered has introduced the Banks first Talking ATMs in a number of its markets to make banking easier and more inclusive for visually-impaired customers
UOB launches first mobile banking application
Mobile Cash allows customers to send money to any registered recipient who can withdraw the cash from more than 600 ATMs in Singapore. The transaction is secured through an instant text message, a user-set password and a one-time password (OTP) and allows the customer to send up to S$500 ($385) per day to UOB or non-UOB customers only requiring a mobile phone.
Standard Chartered sees a resilient Asia, Mideast and Africa in 2012
The Bank sees a slowing global economy in 2012, with a fragile West and a resilient Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
DBS, Aviva launch Singapore's first five-year RMB endowment plan
DBS Bank and insurance group Aviva launched Singapore's first five-year renminbi single premium non-participating endowment plan in response to strong demand for financial offerings in the Chinese currency.
MoneyGram launches cash-to-account transfers to ICBC
MoneyGram introduced a new cash-to-account service with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Consumers can now send money directly into ICBC bank accounts in China.
Barclays stops India retail lending
Barclays announced its decision to stop retail lending in India, due to continuously poor asset quality in this portfolio.
Remittances remain resilient to economic turmoil
Remittance flows to developing countries are expected to total $351b in 2011 increasing by 8%, while worldwide remittances will reach $406b
162 new branches in Manila following liberalisation
Two government banks, Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines, as well as five second-tier commercial banks, Eastwest Bank, Security Bank, Bank of the Commerce, Planters Bank and Philippine Business Bank, were given additional licenses to locate in the previously restricted areas of Metro Manila.
Citi launches innovation lab for transaction banking in Singapore
Citi has launched its first Asian innovation lab in Singapore leveraging on new web, mobile, supply chain and analytics technologies to provide institutional clients innovative and effective transaction banking solutions and products
MasterCard and Western Union connect their networks
A year after Western Union began issuing prepaid cards bearing the MasterCard logo in the U.S., the companies say they will begin offering the cards in other countries, with the goal to make it possible for consumers worldwide to use prepaid cards to transfer and spend money.
Julius Baer moves into China
Chief executive for Julius Baer in Asia, Thomas Meier, said, Our representative office marks our first step to building a meaningful presence in this key global wealth market.
Barclays Wealth to expand in Asia
Barclays Wealth plans to increase its banking staff in Asia by approximately 50% by the end of 2012. Currently Barclays Wealth has more than 100 bankers across Singapore, Hong Kong and India.
Singapore banks roll out transaction signing tokens to counter online fraud
DBS Bank is the first of Singapores banks to introduce a transaction signing token to increase security in its Internet banking - other banks are expected to follow suit. With cyber attacks on banks on the rise internationally, Mr Sandeep Lal, managing director of eBusiness at DBS, said at a media conference: "The security threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, and we need to stay a step ahead of the bad guys.
DBS completes NFC pilot for mobile banking
DBS has completed a NFC pilot for its mobile banking platform, head of consumer and internet banking at DBS, Sandeep Lal, toldRBI DBS plans to launch a Near Field Communications (NFC) platform for its mobile banking application with the aim to allow customers to make payments with their mobile phones.
HDFC Bank launches a set of new premium women's cards
HDFC Bank has launched a set of premium cards for Indian women - a first in the market The bank regards woman a key segment to achieve its goal to grow its cards portfolio to 10m credit cards in 2014 Named Solitaire Premium and Solitaire, the two cards represent an important milestone for the bank in its efforts to offer premium cards not only for women, but every member of the family
HDFC Bank and Vodafone launch Indian M-PESA
HDFC Bank and Vodafone India rolled outa mobile bank account with Vodafone m-paisaTM nationally enabling the bank to leverage Vodafones distribution network to boost its footprint to better serve the unbanked
NZ airport card packages prepaid and contactless functionality
Air New Zealand has launched a membership card called the OneSmart card that can be used to make contactless and prepaid payments Eligible purchases earn airpoints dollars, and funds stored on the OneSmart account can be used to purchase more airpoints dollars to top up an Air New Zealand airpoints account.
Bank Sinar pushes for branchless banking in peripheral Indonesia
Indonesia's Bank Sinar Harapan Bali and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) seek Bank Indonesias approval for a branchless banking pilot to expand banking services to underserved communities in peripheral areas This project expands an existing mobile-banking project between Bank Sinar, the IFS and telco AXIS which was launched in September 2011 The mobile-banking project seeks to enable unbanked people to open and manage bank accounts...
Citi's Indonesia business slumps over scandals
Citi Indonesia net income fell to Rp 1tr ($110 million) from Rp 1.38tr in the same period in 2010, while operational costs rose 65% to Rp 1.63 trillion and net interest income dropped 6.7% to Rp 2.23tr.Citi has been in the news after the alleged theft of around Rp 18m from wealthy Citi clients by a former wealth manager and a Citibank teller as well as the death of a Citibank customer while being questioned by debt collectors
Crisis opens up opportunities for Islamic finance
The growth opportunities for the Islamic financial industry are particularly strong as Islamic finance has its largest presence in rapidly growing economies that have been least affected by the global financial crisis, according to Bahrains central bank governor H.E Speaking at the 18th annual world Islamic banking conference in Bahrain, Al Maraj noted that the obvious flaws in conventional finance have created great interest in the Islamic...
China and Taiwan build bridges to closer banking cooperation
A top level meeting between the banking regulators of China and Taiwan in Beijing on November 23, 2011 set the cornerstone for increased investment opportunities of Chinese banks in Taiwan, and vice versa
VP Bank predicts many "lows" for 2012, but some good investment opportunities in emerging Asia
In its 2012 economic outlook Liechtensteins VP Bank predicts low growth, low yields and lower inflation and expects a recession in Europe from the fourth quarter 2010 onwards throughout the first half of 2012
CBA upgrades its entire ATM network with EMV technology
Commonwealth Bank announced a significant replacement and upgrade program that will see the Bank's entire ATM fleet refreshed, improving reliability, security and overall customer experience The Bank will be the first in Australia to rollout ATMs that meet the new EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standard for chip-enabled cards
Bank Indonesia pushes for e-money regulator
With rapid rise of e-money for mobile payments, Indonesias central bank now pushes for clearer regulation and control of non-bank services providersSince 2006, banks have offered electronic savings systems that allow customers to transfer money, shop in certain stores and pay for bills, tolls, airport taxes and even parking With more mobile-phone operators, such as Telkomsel, Indosat and XL Axiata, allowing users to make transactions with...
Barclays Wealth expands Greater China business with new Singapore desk
Driven by double digit growth of Greater China high net worth individuals Barclays Wealth is setting up a Greater China desk based in Singapore, while beefing up its overall talent pool of senior bankers in Hong Kong
Call for e-money regulator
With more mobile-phone operators, such as Telkomsel, Indosat and XL Axiata, allowing users to make transactions with their phone credits, regulators are concerned that people see e-money as a replacement of real currency as well as of the lack of centralised control.
People: Senior moves in Asia-Pacific
Visa unveils new mobile prepaid product
Asian markets, and particularly Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, are among the target markets for Visa Incs new mobile prepaid product that enables financial institutions and mobile network operators to offer Visa prepaid accounts on mobile phones to un-banked and under-banked consumers However, Visa said its new product will enhance the security, scale and interoperability of these mobile money programmes, while extending their payment...
VRL report highlights Asian consumers' loyalty to local banks
A new VRL report, called The Global Mass Affluent, notes the preference by upper mass market and mass affluent segments in the Asia-Pacific region for banking with local institutions The report says that in mainland China, the percentage of consumers that consider it important to deal with a local institution increased by 12 points, from 75% in 2007 to 87% in 2011. Despite high satisfaction levels, banks across Asia have seen a dramatic drop...
OCBC launches new account opening system
OCBC Bank announced today the launch of its new S$20 million ($15.5m) account opening system across its 56 branches in Singapore The new system makes starting a relationship with OCBC Bank easy enhancing customer experience and engagement, and improves productivity at branches. This system is the result of a 16-month transformation programme that OCBC Bank initiated after customer research revealed a significant opportunity to improve and...
OCBC Bank's youth-oriented credit cards draw on designer appeal
Singapores OCBC Bank has extended its drive to target the youth and young working adults sector by launching credit cards that feature over 130 card designs for its FRANK by OCBC banking programme OCBC Bank launched the Frank by OCBC banking programme in May 2011, targeting youths and young working adults, and has already launched FRANK debit cards
ASB Bank taps into Google+
New Zealand based lender ASB Bank (ASB) has expanded its social media presence by creating a page for itself on Google Pages, after Google was opened up to businesses last week. Having an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube already, Google was a natural next step for ABS, as the lender has received regular feedback from its community about how useful it is to be able to engage with ASB on Facebook and Twitter, said ASBs general...
Citi launches mobile payments service
Citi has launched a mobile browser-based application, called CitiDirect BE Mobile, which allows its clients to receive notifications and authorise payments using their mobile phones. CitiDirect BE Mobile has been made available to over 50,000 clients and 300,000 users worldwide, including clients across the Asia-Pacific region. With CitiDirect BE Mobile, clients can receive SMS alerts to complement email and fax notifications, and authorise...
Bad loans rise in India's public sector banks
Public sector banks bad loans in India have reportedly increased significantly in Q2 2011 due to slower manufacturing output and rising interest rates. The issue is also said to have been escalated by computer-based identification of bad loans and restructured assets The Hindu Business Line reported that the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks increased by 20% or INR 161b ($3.2b) between June and September 2011, the...
Chinese women take the lead in family finances
Chinese women are taking the lead in planning for the familys finances with 63% of Chinese woman making all or most of the financial decisions in the household, compared with 58% of men, according to a new HSBC report The HSBC report The Future of Retirement: Why family matters, said the trend by Chinese women in financial planning reverses the traditional gender gap that still prevails across Asia where 58% of women and 68% of men decide the...
Mobile banking drive accelerates in India
The Reserve Bank of India has reportedly allowed the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to enable transfers from the internet and ATMs to credit a beneficiarys mobile phone in a drive to promote mobile banking
DBS partners with SingPost
DBS and Singapore Post (SingPost) have announced a three year partnership beginning in January 2012 to offer basic banking services at all SingPost outlets This first-of-its-kind tie-up in Singapore will expand the banks Singapore footprint to 140 outlets, up substantially from DBSs 80 branches today.The partnership will enable DBS and POSB, which is part of the DBS Group, to deliver banking services at post offices including cash withdrawals...
Concern over Chinese banks 'overestimated'
Concerns over high risk in Chinas shadow banking system are overrated as they are an inevitable result of Chinas monetary policy and do not reflect the quality of the overall system, according to John Ventre, portfolio manager at Skandia Investment Group Ventre explains that unlike open market monetary policies practised in the West, which set interest rates to maintain a supply demand imbalance for money by making more available, or soaking...
Indo-Swiss agreement aims to banish bank secrecy
An information-sharing agreement between India and Switzerland that recently became effective aims to help tackle the problem of black money as Swiss financial institutions can now be requested to disclose the banking and tax-related details for Indian customers In spite of these comments, Swiss ambassador to India Philippe Welti was quick to clarify that the privacy of individuals must be maintained when deciding on data sharing.
UOB Group and OCBC Group report profit dips
Profits at OCBC Group and UOB Group dipped during the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago, the latest results show DBS groups operating income grew 7.08% to S$5.72bn in the first nine months of 2011, marking a new high
Dynamic era for prepaid opens up
Regulators really see the potential of prepaid cards because they offer a valuable tool for displacing cash and cheques, according to Thore Vestergaard, Citis regional head of wholesale cards for Asia-Pacific, and a speaker at VRLs Prepaid Summit: Asia 2011 Vestergaard is an expert in the prepaid market and will offer incisive analysis and insight at VRLs Prepaid Summit: Asia 2011, which will be held at the Trident Bandra-Kurla hotel in Mumbai...
Floods shut Thai bank branches
Over 10% of Thailands bank branch network has been forced to close because of the floods affecting Bangkok, according to the Bank of Thailand (BOT) The BOT said that as of 7 November, the number of closed bank branches rose to 620 with over half of them in Bangkok.
CBA chairman: Euro debt crisis will challenge Australia
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) chairman David Turner has warned that the European sovereign debt crisis will challenge Australia and the country is not immune to vagaries elsewhere in the world. At the bank's annual general meeting in Brisbane on 8 November, Turner said that issues such as the European sovereign debt crisis, wholesale funding markets will become more challenging and have the potential to place sustained pressure on the...
Mission to reach India's underbanked
The Finance Ministry of India has reportedly asked all banks, including private sector lenders, to open branches in underbanked districts with populations of more than 5,000 by September 2012. According to the Economic Times, the Reserve Bank of India has identified 296 districts, which are underbanked, spread across 18 states and union territories across India. The development comes after the Reserve Bank of Indias deputy governor HR Khan...
South Korea's KB Kookmin Card partners with Amex
KB Kookmin Card, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of KB Financial Group, has formed a card-issuing partnership with American Express in South Korea. The partnership means Kookmin Card will issue super-premium cards that will target its high net worth customer base and offer a range of benefits and privileges to its customers both in South Korea and abroad. Denominated in Korean won, the new American Express-branded cards will carry the...
MasterCard reports strong Q3 growth in A-P
MasterCard has reported strong Q3 2011 results for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region (APMEA) with growth in total volume (GDV) up 25% year-on-year MasterCard grew total volume by $42.4 billion to $212 billion in Q3 2011 Compared to MasterCard, Visa expanded total volume by $92.9 billion, an increase of 17.9% to $613 billion in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa in Q3 2011.
Drive to phase-out cheques in India
The Reserve Bank of India has asked all non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to gradually phase-out the use of cheques and shift to electronic payment systems, as part of the Indian governments green initiative. The Reserve Bank of India explained that the context behind the drive is that the Indian government has suggested that steps be taken by entities in the financial sector, including NBFCs, to help better utilise their resources and...
OCBC Bank simplifies online banking
Singapores OCBC Bank has launched new user interfaces and features to simplify the online banking process after conducting customer research including interviews, focus groups and experience labs Upon login, the new online banking overview page allows the user access to what research has shown to be the three most popular functions: checking account balances, paying bills and transferring funds.
Mobile remittance providers urged to engage with regulators
Research and preparation, together with a commitment to understanding and addressing regulators key concerns, will help to a large extent in the structuring, presentation and ultimately, approval of mobile remittance plans, according to Derek Ho, corporate counsel for Sybase 365 in Asia-Pacific In the first place, Ho said it is important to ascertain the correct mobile remittance licenses that must be obtained, so as to identify and gather the...
CBA mobile app allows Facebook payments
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has launched a new mobile app called Commbank Kaching that enables users to pay anyone via near-field communication (NFC) technology or by an email address, phone number or Facebook friendship Commbank Kaching will be available to Apple iPhone users with the operating system iOS 4.3 and above in the coming months.
A world of opportunity for prepaid
Huge opportunities exist for public sector stakeholders to offer prepaid solutions, according to Dhun Karai, head of group financial services at Australian retailer Woolworths, which recently won the leading prepaid organisation in Asia category at The Prepaid Awards in London Karai is a recognised expert in the prepaid market and will offer incisive analysis and insight at VRLs Prepaid Summit: Asia 2011, which will be held at the Trident...
Asia-Pacific drives global wealth growth
Total global wealth increased by 14% from $203trn in January 2010 to $231trn in June 2011, with Asia-Pacific the main contributor to the rise in global wealth during the period accounting for 54% of the growth since 2010, according to a new report from Credit Suisse
Call to engage customers with credit cards
Credit cards ought to be viewed as more than just financial products, but rather as customer engagement vehicles, according to Jean-Marc Dallaire, senior vice president and head of unsecured lending and payment products at Thanachart Bank in Thailand Dallaire said: We launched a debit card last year and we are trying to bring debit, as a product to the next level
Russia's Sberbank sees opportunities in Asia
Speaking to Banking & Payments Asia at the sidelines of the recent Russia-Singapore Business Forum, Gorkov said Sberbank has traditionally been inactive in the Asian banking sector
JCBI lands German card deal
JCB International (JCBI), the international subsidiary of Japans JCB, has formed an alliance with German Banking Industry Committee (GBIC) for the issuing of JCB and girocard co-branded cards in Germany. The GBIC operates the German debit card system girocard and unifies the five associations of the German banking industry. The deal means that JCB, together with banks and savings banks in Germany, will begin to develop card products with...
Credit Suisse strengthens A-P private banking team
Credit Suisses Asia-Pacific private banking operation has appointed Anna Wong as managing director and market area head for Greater China She will join the financial institution from 24 October 2011 and will be based in Hong Kong where she will report toMarcel Kreis, head of private banking for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse.
NFC payments for Singapore by 2012
Consumers in Singapore will be able to pay for their purchases at more than 20,000 retail points and taxis from mid-2012 using near field communication (NFC)-enabled mobile phones. It comes after the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) awarded a NFC Call-for-Collaboration (CFC) award to a consortium comprising seven companies, including DBS, telco StarHub and EZ-Link to deploy an interoperable NFC and mobile payments...
HSBC's South Korean units linked with sale
HSBC has been linked with a possible sale of its South Korean retail units to KDB Financial Group (KDB). KDB was established in October 2009, after transferring its policy banking functions to Korea Finance and it is reported that KDB is set to start a privatization process before the end of May 2014.
Russia's Sberbank sees opportunities in Asia
Sberbank deputy chairman Sergey Gorkov has emphasised the Russian bank's interest in expanding its operations into Asia, particularly India. Speaking to Banking & Payments Asia at the sidelines of the recent Russia-Singapore Business Forum, Gorkov said Sberbank has traditionally been inactive in the Asian banking sector.
UOB employees win service awards
Employees of United Overseas Bank (UOB) have received the highest number of ABS excellent service awards (EXSA) among financial services organisations in Singapore. The national award, organised by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) recognises those individuals who have delivered outstanding customer service.
JCB International lands German card deal
JCB International (JCBI), the international subsidiary of Japan's JCB, has formed an alliance with the German Banking Industry Committee (GBIC) for the issuing of JCB and girocard co-branded cards in Germany. The deal means that JCB, together with banks and savings banks in Germany, will begin to develop card products with functions and services targeting the German consumers and in compliance with the European Single Euro Payments Area cards...
Islamic lender launches car financing product
Pakistan's Meezan Bank has launched Car Ijarah the country's first interest-free car financing based on the Islamic financing mode of leasing, or Ijarah. Car Ijarah by Meezan Bank is a car rental agreement, under which Meezan Bank buys the car and rents it out to the customer for a period of three to five years.
Pacific m-money transfer service launched
Telecommunications operator Digicel Pacific has partnered with KlickEx, a New Zealand-owned currency exchange service, to launch a mobile money transfer service. The service enables people in New Zealand to send money to individuals in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa.
Islamic bank branches out in Pakistan
Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan (DIBPL) is planning to open 25 new branches across Pakistan, within the next year. The 25 new branches in Pakistan are part of a major branch-expansion initiative by DIBPL.
ANZ moves to control salary costs
ANZ CEO Michael Smith has reportedly told staff said there would be only a very limited salary increase budget of 1% for the top 900 executives as part of the 2011 performance and remuneration review. He was reported as saying the action is being taken to position ANZ ahead of the curve by demonstrating that the financial institution is being run in a responsible and sustainable way.
NAB promotes home loan product
National Australia Bank (NAB) head of customer relationship management and sales support Lisa Rossjohn has outlined the success behind its new home loan product - known as Freedom - for customers. The concept of Freedom is that home loan customers can leave the scheme whenever they want without having to pay early exit fees.
Family businesses key pillars of Asian growth
Family businesses have been a crucial source of private wealth creation in Asia in the past decade, new Credit Suisse research confirms. An analysis of 3,568 publicly listed Asian family businesses found they delivered a 261% cumulative total return and compound annual growth rate of 13.7% during 2000-2010, outperforming local benchmarks in 7 out of 10 Asian markets.
Kiwi mobile operators launch m-payments
Mobile phone operators in New Zealand have agreed to a payment framework that will allow customers to safely make low-cost purchases via their mobile phones. Payforit, allows users to purchase digital content, such as apps, and have it added to their mobile phone bill without the need to give their payment details to a third party.
UOB targets cross-border opps
The bank has set up a foreign direct investment (FDI) advisory unit to provide a range of services ranging from company incorporation and access to UOB's personal and corporate banking products, for mid-sized and SMEs expanding into Singapore and further into Asia. UOB said the initiative was based on a trend where a rising number of customers require borderless banking and financing services as they expand from city to city and country to...
World of opportunity for prepaid
Huge opportunities exist for public sector stakeholders to offer prepaid solutions, according to Dhun Karai, head of group financial services at Australian retailer Woolworths, which recently won the leading prepaid organisation in Asia category at The Prepaid Awards in London. Karai is a recognised expert in the prepaid market and will offer incisive analysis and insight at VRL's Prepaid Summit: Asia 2011, which will be held at the Trident...
Upbeat outlook for banking in Asia
An Accenture media round table has reportedly said that Asia's banking industry has plenty of room for growth because of the region's resilience through the global financial crisis, which has helped increase capital inflows and trade activity.
JCBI signs deal with Lebanese bank
JCB International (JCBI), the international subsidiary of JCB, and CSC Bank (CSC), a Lebanese specialised bank, have signed a card issuing licence agreement. The agreement means CSC will become the first bank to issue JCB cards in Lebanon. JCBI president and chief operating officer Koremitsu Sannomiya said Lebanon is a dynamic country with a rich history of business innovation in the region.
AmBank Group signs up to priority banking service
Malaysia's AmBank Group and ANZ have signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce ANZ's signature priority banking service to AmBank and AmIslamic Banks' affluent retail banking customers. Signature priority banking is a suite of personalised banking services that includes access to exclusive banking lounges, priority tellers and a 24-hour hotline.
CBA app allows Facebook payments
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has launched a new mobile app called Commbank Kaching that enables users to pay anyone via near-field communication (NFC) technology or by an email address, phone number or Facebook friendship. Commbank Kaching will be available to Apple iPhone users with the operating system iOS 4.3 and above in the coming months.
Lessons from Pakistan
The next 12 months could see a surge in new mobile and agent banking services seeking to bring financial services to people across Pakistan, according to a recent paper from CGAP, an independent policy and research centre. Since Pakistan's government introduced branchless banking regulation in April 2008, the CGAP paper noted that two major initiatives have been launched by Tameer Microfinance Bank, owned by mobile network operator Telenor,...
Senior moves in Asia-Pacific
People: Senior moves in Asia- Pacific
Money transfer expansion in the Philippines
Instant money transfer service provider Xpress Money has partnered with KwartaGram, a transfer provider in the Philippines, to expand their coverage in the area. KwartaGram will be adding over 180 flagship locations as well as 800 sub-agents to the Xpress Money network, which already boasts over 10,000 agents. The expansion will also allow KwartaGram to offer Xpress Money services from most of its locations in the near future.
NETS hires new CEO
Singapore's electronic payments provider NETS has appointed Jeffrey Goh as CEO, with effect from 31 October 2011. Mr Goh co-founded AXS, a solutions provider and the operator of an electronic service delivery network. DBS Bank acquired the shares from the founder's in 2008 and Goh remained in the company as chief operating officer.
Flooding shuts Thai bank branches
Widespread flooding in Thailand is reported to have caused 227 branches of the country's retail banks and a finance company to temporarily close.
HDFC to issue Diners Club cards in India
HDFC Bank, the largest credit card issuer in India, has agreed a deal with US card issuer Discover for HDFC to issue Diners Club credit cards in India. HDFC Bank country head for retail assets and credit cards Pralay Mondal said: "HDFC Bank enjoys the highest mind and wallet share in credit cards in India.
OCBC simplifies online banking
Singapore's OCBC Bank has launched new user interfaces and features to simplify the online banking process after conducting customer research including interviews, focus groups and experience labs. Upon login, the new online banking overview page allows the user access to what research has shown to be the three most popular functions: checking account balances, paying bills and transferring funds.
Asia-Pacific drives global wealth growth
Total global wealth increased by 14% from $203trn in January 2010 to $231trn in June 2011, with Asia-Pacific the main contributor to the rise in global wealth during the period accounting for 54% of the growth since 2010, according to a new report from Credit Suisse.
Engage with regulators on mobile remittance
Research and preparation, together with a commitment to understanding and addressing regulators' key concerns, will help to a large extent in the structuring, presentation and ultimately, approval of mobile remittance plans, according to Derek Ho, corporate counsel for Sybase 365 in Asia-Pacific. According to Ho, it is important to ascertain the correct mobile remittance licences that must be obtained, so as to identify and gather the...
Money transfer service uses Twitter
Pygg, an Australian technology start-up that enables users to transfer money to each other through Twitter, has been launched. Customers in Australia can make small payments to other Pygg account holders through Twitter by including the @pygg handle, the username of the recipient and the amount to be transferred in tweets.
Crackdown on irregular lending in South Korea
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) in South Korea is reportedly set to penalise several banks that allegedly pressed customers to purchase financial products in return for receiving loans. According to the Korea Herald newspaper, FSS governor Kwon Hyouk-se said between mid-July and mid-September FSS probed irregular lending allegations at eight banks.
Winning strategies in global private banking
Delegates at the 21st Private Banker International Wealth Summit in Singapore have heard that success in the global private banking industry significantly depends on clearly deciding which clients to target, focusing on sustainable growth and delivering client centricity These were just some of the key themes presented at a packed and interactive summit , which was organised by VRL and held at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, on 13 October...
HSBC credit card targets jetsetters in Singapore
HSBC has launched a new luxury travel credit card in Singapore that is aimed at consumers belonging to the high net worth (HNW) and mass affluent segment The card features a travel and lifestyle butler to organise a range of lifestyle-related and travel experiences for cardholders
Bright future for branchless banking in Pakistan
A number of developments indicate a positive outlook for branchless banking in Pakistan, according to a new paper from CGAP, an independent policy and research centre
HSBC linked with sale of its South Korean retail units
HSBC is being linked with a possible sale of its South Korean retail units to KDB Financial Group (KDB). KDB was established in October 2009, after transferring its policy banking functions to Korea Finance and it is reported that KDB is set to start a privatization process before the end of May 2014.
Crackdown on irregular lending in South Korea
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) in South Korea is reportedly set to penalise several banks that allegedly pressed customers to purchase financial products in return for receiving loans According to the Korea Herald newspaper, FSS governor Kwon Hyouk-se said that between mid-July and mid-September FSS probed irregular lending allegations at eight banks
NAB promotes 'freedom aspect' of home loan product
National Australia Banks (NAB) head of CRM and sales support, Lisa Rossjohn, has outlined the success behind its new home loan product known as Freedom for customers The concept of Freedom is that home loan customers can leave the scheme whenever they want without having to pay early exit fees Customers can also switch their variable rate home loan to another NAB home loan without paying a fee.
Pacific mobile money transfer service launched
Telecommunications operator Digicel Pacific has partnered with KlickEx, a New Zealand-owned currency exchange service to launch a mobile money transfer service that enables people in New Zealand to send money to individuals in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa
MasterCard drives Indonesian m-payments project
MasterCards senior country manager for Indonesia, Vadyo Munaan, has said the network is in talks with several banks in Indonesia with the goal of launching mobile payments in the country Banking & Payments Asia understands there is no definite timing for the launch of a mobile payments initiative in Indonesia, as MasterCard needs to wait for the government to have all the regulations settled. Munaan told Banking & Payments Asia: Right...
UOB targets cross-border business lending market
The bank has set up a foreign direct investment (FDI) advisory unit to provide a range of services ranging from company incorporation and access to UOBs personal and corporate banking products, for mid-sized and SMEs expanding into Singapore and further into Asia. UOB said the initiative was based on a trend where a rising number of customers require borderless banking and financing services as they expand from city to city and country to...
JCBI signs deal with Lebanese bank
JCB International (JCBI), the international subsidiary of JCB, and CSC Bank (CSC), a Lebanese specialised bank, have signed a card issuing license agreement The agreement means CSC will become the first bank to issue JCB Cards in Lebanon. Koremitsu Sannomiya, president and chief operating officer of JCBI, said Lebanon is a dynamic country with a rich history of business innovation in the region.
JCB International opens first branch office in Middle East
JCB International has opened an office in Dubai making it JCB Internationals first branch office in the Middle East in order to develop JCBs card issuing and merchant acquiring business through licensed partners in the Middle East and African partners
Nikko AM seals alliance with DBS Bank
Nikko Asset Management Group (Nikko AM) has completed the acquisition of DBS Asset Management (DBSAM) from DBS Bank making Nikko AM the largest regional asset manager headquartered in Asia
Family businesses key pillars of Asian growth
Family businesses have been a crucial source of private wealth creation in Asia in the past decade, new Credit Suisse research confirms. An analysis of 3,568 publicly listed Asian family businesses found that they delivered a 261% cumulative total return and compound annual growth rate of 13.7% during 2000-2010, outperforming local benchmarks in seven out of 10 Asian markets. The study showed family businesses accounted for about 50% of all...
AmBank Group signs up to priority banking service
Malaysias AmBank Group and ANZ have signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce ANZs signature priority banking service to AmBank and AmIslamic Banks affluent retail banking customers. Signature priority banking is a suite of personalised banking services that includes access to exclusive banking lounges, priority tellers and a 24-hour hotline
VietinBank to issue JCB cards in Vietnam
Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), and JCB International (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of Japans JCB, have announced the launch of the first JCB branded card in Vietnam, the VietinBank-JCB Cremium card. The newly branded cards will be accepted at over 34,000 JCB merchants in Vietnam, as well being accepted by 18 million merchants globally through JCBs merchant network located in 190...
Euro player acquires Indian online payment provider
Ogone Payment Services, a European payment platform has acquired E-Billing Solutions (EBS), which is Indias second largest online payment provider.
HSBC expects strong business flows between Singapore and India
HSBC Indias CEO Stuart Davis has reportedly said the bank expects its business flows between Singapore and India to more than double in the near-term. According to Channelnewsasia.com, HSBC India is said to be targeting a billion-dollar profit before tax for its India operations in 2013. HSBC reportedly said that while it will be growing its headcount in India in line with its business growth, recruiting the right talent can be challenging
Citi opens new lending company in Western China
Citi has opened a new lending company in Chongqings Beibei District, which is in the Western region of China Known as Chongqing Beibei Citi Lending Co, (Citi Credit), is Citis first lending company located in the Western region of China, and is the fourth of its kind to be opened by Citi in China. Andrew Au, CEO of Citi China said the three lending companies Citi has previously launched have proven highly successful, and the banks team is...
Axis gets personal with 'MyDesign Card'
Indias third-largest private sector lender, Axis Bank, has launched MyDesign Card, a card personalisation tool for its customers, allowing them to customise the design of their debit cards. Jairam Sridharan, head of consumer lending & payments at Axis, said: By empowering our customers to design their debit cards, MyDesign aims to promote closer customer engagement with the bank. The MyDesign function enables cardholders to put a photo of...
CMB reports double-digit client base
China Merchants Bank's (CMB) private banking business grew its client base by 15% in the first six months of 2011, with assets under management jumping by 17%. The results are in step with projections made by CMB vice-president Ding Wei in April.
International renminbi online payments service launched
China Payment Services (CPS) has launched a new international renminbi online payments service to enable e-commerce operators around the world to accept China UnionPay (UnionPay) cards online. Until now, the challenge facing international merchants trying to sell to Chinese customers has been the inability to accept payments in renminbi.
Shinsei Bank to offer card loan service
Japan-based Shinsei Bank will begin offering its new unsecured personal card loan service, Shinsei Bank Card Loan - Lake, from 1 October. The product roll-out marks the full-scale launch of a new bank-based personal loan service, under the Shinsei Bank Card Loan - Lake brand. Shinsei will become the first bank in Japan to offer full-scale unsecured card loan services for retail banking customers through a large-scale unmanned branch network.
Banking functionality for China's social security cards
China reportedly plans to integrate banking functionality into social security cards to enable the Chinese population to withdraw money from their bank accounts and transfer funds. The initiative was announced earlier this week by Hu Xiaoyi, the minister of human resources and social security, according to Xinhua News Agency. By the end of July 2011, Chinese citizens are thought to have had 145m social security cards.
UniCredit plans on doubling its presence in China
Italy's biggest bank UniCredit plans on doubling its presence in China in the next few years to gain a greater foothold in Asia's biggest economy by opening up new branches.
Citi extends partnership with microfinance network
Citi Foundation grants worth $200,000 will enable the BWTP Network to provide secretariat services to the APEC Business Advisory Councils Advisory Group on financial inclusion, and also build its capacity to support BWTP members consisting of microfinance institutions, commercial banks, central banks and microfinance networks from 12 countries across the region.
Indian online payment provider acquired
Ogone Payment Services, a European payment platform has acquired E-Billing Solutions (EBS), which is Indias second largest online payment provider. The deal represents Ogones first acquisition and first move outside the European market
New banking licences for Bangladesh
The Central Bank of Bangladesh has issued draft guidelines that would allow new banks to be established in Bangladesh. According to the central bank, financial institutions will need to meet a minimum capital requirement of BDT4bn ($53m), before they are granted a banking licence. New banks will also have to sell shares within three years and open one branch in a rural area for each one they start in cities.
Nikko AM in DBS Bank deal
Nikko Asset Management Group (Nikko AM) has completed the acquisition of DBS Asset Management from DBS Bank making Nikko AM the largest regional asset manager headquartered in Asia.
Chinese banks fined over excessive fees
China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has reportedly fined Industrial Bank, CITIC Bank and the Postal Savings Bank of China for charging clients excessive fees. According to the Economic Times, the NDRC said the three banks were charging clients for services including the resetting of account passwords. The practices are alleged to have continued until 13 July even though it is said that the banks were told to stop on 1 July.
Technical fault hits OCBC Bank systems
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is planning an assessment of OCBC Bank's compliance with risk management rules following the bank's core systems in Singapore being hit by a technical fault on 13 September.
DBS banks on futuristic-style branch
DBS has showcased a futuristic new branch in Singapore that targets young working adults and is marketed as a "bank by day and financial playground by night". The creation of the new branch, which is called DBS Remix, involved young adults who won a branch design contest organised by DBS. As part of DBS's aim to connect with young working adults through digital innovations, DBS Remix is paperless and includes digitablets, which provide...
Taiwanese bank changes in China
Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has reportedly released regulations governing cross-strait monetary exhanges, thereby allowing local banks operating in China to make loans to Chinese companies starting next week.
Singapore banks face potential double whammy
Singapore's big three banks DBS, OCBC and UOB are expected to face a "double whammy" of stagnating loan growth and continued pressure on net interest margins (NIM), according to a research report from securities and investment broker Kim Eng. Kim Eng analyst James Koh highlighted the twin challenges facing the banks, given the looming threat of an economic slowdown, and said the broker has turned negative on the sector.
Kiwibank drives bank-switching initiative forward
Customers who switch to Kiwibank through its latest online EasySwitch campaign between 9 September and 23 October will be in the running to win a stylised black Kiwibank smart-car. Kiwibank has expanded its initiative to coax customers to switch banks by announcing it is offering the black version of its familiar Kiwibank smartcar mascot - affectionately known as 'Raymond' as it heads off on a nationwide road trip seeking nominations for the...
Thai government launches agricultural credit card
The Thai government plans to issue credit cards to farmers as of 1 November. A committee from Thailand's Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has agreed to authorise a service provider with a budget of THB1bn ($33.3m) over three years, and the plan is to issue 3m credit cards.
Maybank Singapore savings tool
Maybank Singapore has launched a savings management tool that enables a depositor to create sub-accounts within the individual's main savings account - thereby avoiding the need to open multiple savings accounts for different goals and occasions. The tool, which is called iSAVvy Sub-accounts, is available for Maybank's two online accounts - the iSAVvy savings account and the iSAVvy savings plus account.
Malaysia's Maybank sets sights on Laos
Maybank president and CEO Abdul Wahid Omar said that Maybank expects its application for a banking license in Laos to be approved in 2012 with the first branch expected to be opened in the same year.
ICICI launches its first EMV credit card
ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank, has launched its first EMV chip-based credit card - the ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card. The new product, which is part of the Gemstone Collection of ICICI Bank credit cards, is targeted at the value conscious segment and offers cash rewards on all retail purchases.
Citi opens new lending company in China
Citi has opened a new lending company in Chongqing's Beibei District, which is in the Western region of China. Known as Chongqing Beibei Citi Lending Co (Citi Credit), is Citi's first lending company located in the Western region of China, and is the fourth of its kind to be opened by Citi in China.
Dhanlaxmi Bank deploys FIS
India-based Dhanlaxmi Bank is to roll out ATM switching and transaction processing solutions from FIS. The deal is part of the bank's drive to improve services to account holders. The FIS solution includes card management and authorisation, gateway services and ATM driving.
Asian banks facing 'direct hit' from crisis in eurozone
Asian banks' exposure to the European banking system means they will be directly affected should the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone trigger a banking crisis in Europe, according to a research report from OCBC Bank. Among 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the OCBC Bank report noted that Hong Kong has the highest European banks' claims, with $352.5bn as of the second quarter of 2011.
VietinBank to issue JCB cards in Vietnam
Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), and JCB International (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of Japan's JCB, have announced the launch of the first JCB branded card in Vietnam, the VietinBank-JCB Cremium card.
RBC Wealth Management Singapore trust company
RBC Wealth Management, which is part of Royal Bank of Canada, has announced it has opened a new trust office in Singapore operating as RBC Trust Company (Singapore). Headed up by managing director Hilary May, RBC Trust Company (Singapore) will provide trust and estate planning and a wide range of fiduciary services to RBC Wealth Management clients from around the world.
IndusInd app allows cardless withdrawals
India's IndusInd Bank has launched a mobile banking application called IndusMobile that allows its customers to perform cardless cash withdrawal transactions. This means an individual can withdraw cash from select IndusInd Bank ATMs, without using an ATM or debit card. IndusMobile offers a wide variety of features including the ability to make an interbank funds transfer, and a mobile-to-mobile funds transfer.
Visa partners with India's UTI Mutual Fund
Visa has strengthened its acceptance network within the mutual fund category by partnering with India's UTI Mutual Fund (UTI MF) to allow investors to purchase units via Visa debit cards. Uttam Nayak, Visa's group country manager for India & South Asia, said: "With UTI Mutual Funds, Visa is now strengthening the acceptance network within the mutual fund category, and we are confident together with UTI MF we will be able to help many...
Competitors eye up Barclays' India cards operation
Standard Chartered Bank and State Bank of India's card business SBI Card are reported to be in the frame to purchase Barclays' India credit card business. Daniel Hunter, head of global media relations for Barclays, told Cards International, a sister publication of Banking & Payments Asia: "We are reviewing options for cards, a business which requires scale, and we may be able to achieve that scale under new ownership."
National Bank of Pakistan to expand ATM network
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is to expand its ATM network by installing an additional 150 ATMs, from self service vendor NCR. The additional ATMs will increase NBP's ATM network to more than 500 units across its 1,260-strong branch network.
MasterCard appoints new South-East Asia marketing head
MasterCard Worldwide has appointed Debbie Goldingham as the new head of marketing for South-East Asia. In her new role, Goldingham will drive the division's marketing priorities which include issuer marketing, merchant marketing and consumer marketing.
New banking licences for Bangladesh
The Central Bank of Bangladesh has issued draft guidelines that would allow new banks to be established in Bangladesh According to the central bank, financial institutions will need to meet a minimum capital requirement of 4 billion taka ($53 million), before they are granted a banking licence. New banks will also have to sell shares within three years and open one branch in a rural area for each one they start in cities.
Singapore private bankers' salaries outstrip Swiss peers
Senior private bankers in Singapore can earn nearly double the salary than their counterparts in Switzerland, according to a study on wealth management compensation in Asia and Europe from executive search firm EMA Partners International This reveals that senior private bankers in Singapore can earn between $164,216 and $410,541 while the comparative range in Switzerland is $152,736 to $209,396.
Competitors eye up Barclays' India cards operation
Standard Chartered Bank and State Bank of Indias card business SBI Card are reported to be in the frame to purchase Barclays India credit card business Daniel Hunter, head of global media relations for Barclays, told Cards International, a sister publication of Banking & Payments Asia: "We are reviewing options for cards, a business which requires scale and we may be able to achieve that scale under new ownership."
Malaysia's Maybank sets sights on Laos
Maybank has reportedly applied for a banking licence in Laos and is also said to be planning operating a retail bank in Thailand Maybank president and CEO Abdul Wahid Omar was reported to have said that Maybank expects its application for a banking license in Laos to be approved in 2012 with the first branch expected to be opened in the same year He was said to have made the comments during a recent press conference at the launch of Maybanks...
International renminbi online payments service launched
China Payment Services (CPS) has launched a new international renminbi online payments service to enable e-commerce operators around the world to accept China UnionPay (UnionPay) cards online. Until now, the challenge facing international merchants trying to sell to Chinese customers has been the inability to accept payments in renminbi Most online retailers around the world also do not currently accept UnionPay cards online, according to...
DBS banks on futuristic-style branch
DBS has showcased a futuristic new branch in Singapore that targets young working adults and is marketed as a bank by day and financial playground by night The creation of the new branch, which is called DBS Remix, involved young adults and who won a branch design contest organised by DBS As part of DBSs aim to connect with young working adults through digital innovations, DBS Remix is paperless and includes including digitablets, that provide...
Asian banks face 'direct hit' from Euro crisis
Asian banks exposure to the European banking system means they will be directly affected should the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone trigger a banking crisis in Europe, according to a research report from OCBC Bank Among 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the OCBC Bank report noted that Hong Kong has the highest European banks claims, with $352.5bn as of Q1 2011
ICICI launches first EMV credit card
ICICI Bank, Indias largest private sector bank, has launched its first EMV chip-based credit card the ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card. The new product, which is part of the Gemstone Collection of ICICI Bank credit cards, is targeted at the value conscious segment and offers cash rewards on all retail purchases
BNZ appoints head of Maori business
Bank of New Zealand has created a new role by appointing Pierre Tohe, of Waikato descent, as head of Maori business at the bank According to Te Puni Kokiri the Ministry of Mori Development in New Zealand the total asset base of the Maori economy stood at $36.9billion in 2010 an increase of $20billion compared to 2005-6
PwC survey: skills upgrade needed for A-P private bankers
PwCs Asia-Pacific findings from the 2011 global private banking and wealth management survey, said a more professional grasp of tax issues, and better risk management and regulatory accountabilities will be key reputation differentiators for private bankers in the Asia-Pacific region. It noted that the talent pool is Asia is still considerably youthful with 55 per cent of relationship managers in the region having less than five years of...
UniCredit plans new branches in China
Italian bank UniCredit reportedly plans to open new branches in China and double its staff there to tap into the countrys booming economy After inaugurating its second branch in Guangzhou, Roberto Nicastro, general manager at UniCredit, was reported as saying that the bank will open new branches in Beijing, and the cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu, as well as along the coast. Nicastro was quoted as saying: The Chinese market is crucial for...
The case for bank-led m-money initiatives
This is because a bank can deal with the regulatory aspect of a mobile banking project, and it offers a bank an effective customer acquisition strategy without having to open physical branches
Maybank Singapore offers savings management tool
Maybank Singapore has launched a savings management tool that enables a depositor to create sub-accounts within the individuals main savings account thereby avoiding the need to open multiple savings accounts for different goals and occasions. The tool, which is called iSAVvy Sub-accounts, is available for Maybanks two online accounts the iSAVvy savings account and the iSAVvy savings plus account.
Coutts' expert stresses importance of succession planning
The head of the recently established Coutts Institute in Asia has emphasised the importance of succession planning for family businesses as part of a holistic approach to wealth management Roger Low, who heads up the Coutts institute in Asia, which offers wealth advisory services for high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra HNW clients in the area of family business advisory, philanthropy advisory and next generation services, made the comment to...
Chinese social security cards to include banking functionality
China reportedly plans to integrate banking functionality into social security cards to enable the Chinese population to withdraw money from their bank accounts and transfer funds The initiative was announced earlier this week by Hu Xiaoyi, the minister of human resources and social security, according to Xinhua News Agency By the end of July 2011, Chinese citizens are thought to have had 145 million social security cards
Wealth of HNWIs to surge in Asia
The wealth of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in Asia is forecast to reach $15.18trn by 2015 almost three times higher than the estimated figure in 2010, according to the Julius Baer Wealth Report: Asia By 2015, the report expects the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) to rise from 1.16m to 2.82m over the period 2010-2015.
United Bank of India unveils mobile banking service
United Bank of India has launched a mobile banking service that will help the bank target unbanked individuals The service, which is called United Mobile Banking, offers beneficiaries features, such as balance enquiries, mini statements, intra bank fund transfers and ATM and branch locator functionality Very soon United Bank of India said it will add features to United Mobile Banking, including bill payments and the ability to make interbank...
��Call for bank branches to have 'radical makeover'
Mahesh Balasubramanian, executive vice-president of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has called on banks to seek inspiration from high-end retailers and technology stores and offer an experience that wows customers Balasubramanian said: The branch layout and design needs to undergo a complete makeover so that it draws in customers and compels them to seek value-added products and services and offers a customer experience that wows them. Balasubramanian...
IndusInd Bank launches app to allow cardless cash withdrawals
Indias IndusInd Bank has launched a mobile banking application called IndusMobile that allows its customers to perform cardless cash withdrawal transactions through the mobile application This means an individual can withdraw cash from select IndusInd Bank ATMs, without using an ATM or debit card. IndusMobile offers a wide variety of features including the ability to make an interbank funds transfer, and a mobile to mobile funds transfer
Visa partners with India's UTI Mutual Fund
Visa has strengthened its acceptance network within the mutual fund category by partnering with Indias UTI Mutual Fund (UTI MF) to allow investors to purchase units via Visa debit cards. Uttam Nayak, Visas group country manager for India & South Asia, said: With UTI Mutual Funds, Visa is now strengthening the acceptance network within the mutual fund category, and are confident together with UTI MF we will be able to help many investors...
Singapore banks face potential double whammy
Singapores big three banks DBS, OCBC and UOB are expected to face a double whammy of stagnating loan growth and continued pressure on net interest margins (NIM), according to a research report from securities and investment broker Kim Eng Kim Eng analyst James Koh highlighted the twin challenges facing the banks, given the looming threat of an economic slowdown, and said the broker has turned negative on the sector.
Banks face 'no danger of disintermediation', says Citi's A-P chief
The banking industry is not under immediate threat of being disintermediated by telcos or social media payments, argues Citis head of consumer banking for Asia-Pacific, Jonathan Larsen at Citi, warned at the recent GSMA Mobile Money Summit in Singapore, that rapid developments in the mobile money industry mean that banks must not be relegated to the role of a dumb pipe.
Need for wealth management tech solutions
An emerging trend in the bank technology sector is the growing need for wealth management solutions, according to Anselm de Souza, managing director of bank IT services provider Callata & Wouters in Asia-Pacific The comment comes at a time when there is a demand for local banks in Asia-Pacific to build an onshore wealth management business for private and priority customers and offer a wider range of investment products. As local banks in...
Chinese banks fined over excessive fees
Chinas National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has reportedly fined Industrial Bank, CITIC Bank and the Postal Savings Bank of China for charging clients excessive fees. According to the Economic Times, the NDRC said the three banks were charging clients for services including the resetting of account passwords The practices are alleged to have continued until 13 July even though it is said the banks were told to stop on 1 July.
Consumer confidence in Singapore highlighted
New figures released by MasterCard Worldwide indicate a positive economic outlook among Singaporeans and suggest that consumers in Singapore are planning to maintain a high level of discretionary spending in the coming months. These indications are based on data from the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), from 27 May to 24 July 2011, which found that spending by Singapore-based MasterCard cardholders increased by 49% year-on-year to $865.8m.
VendTek partners with Roshan and M-Paisa
Prepaid software company VendTek Systems is to develop additional mobile money functionality and provide consultancy support to M-Paisa, a mobile money transfer service in Afghanistan. The arrangement is part of a partnership between VendTek Systems and Roshan, which is a telecommunications provider in Afghanistan. M-Paisa president Zahir Khoja said the partnership with VendTek Systems would help the company, as well as Roshan and M-Paisa, to...
Banking boost for rural Australia
Australia Post has entered into a non-binding agreement to enable customers to open Rural Bank deposit accounts at 1,400 post offices across Australia. In addition, 130 post offices in areas with a strong agribusiness presence will offer Rural Bank loans through dedicated Rural Bank business development managers.
UBP JVs in Asia
Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) has launched joint ventures in Hong Kong and Taiwan to spearhead the development of its asset management business in Asia. UBP Asset Management (Asia) Co will operate across Asia excluding Japan from its main office in Hong Kong, while Taipei-based TransGlobe Securities Investment Consulting Company will target the Taiwanese market.
Product Launches by HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and NETS
Bank branch opened in Himalayan district
India's HDFC Bank has opened its first branch in the remote Himalayan district of Leh as part of a drive to bank the unbanked. Navin Puri, country head for branch banking at HDFC Bank, said: "As a leading bank of the country, we are committed to take modern banking to remote places where it is required the most, and make a difference to the lives of people there.
DBS Facebook campaign rewards participants
DBS has launched a campaign using Facebook's Places to give participants special check-in deals across Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Jakarta, and Taipei. The social media campaign invites DBS users to check-in to certain 'DBS places' to earn points and unlock surprise deals that the bank has arranged with stores and venues.
Amex and Groupon Hong Kong partner
The collaboration started with the launch of 8 Million Membership Rewards Points Lucky Draw in which each transaction on the Groupon website made with an eligible American Express card will be able to receive one entry into the draw for a chance to be one of eight winners of 1million reward points.
Kotak and CIMB to cooperate
Kotak Mahindra Bank has entered into a business cooperation arrangement with Malaysia's CIMB Group. The arrangement means the two financial institutions will cooperate and explore opportunities arising from cross border business, investment and trade flows, with a focus on select countries in the India-ASEAN corridor.
Monitise A-P seals Indonesian mobile money JV
Mobile money services provider Monitise Asia-Pacific has signed a joint venture agreement with Indonesia's PT Astra Graphia Information Technology (AGIT) to develop mobile financial services for the country's population. Commenting on the joint venture, Monitise Asia-Pacific CEO Darren Sugden said the joint venture comes at a time when there is a desire by many banks in Indonesia to build business lines with new segments, as well as political...
Citi and JCBI extend partnership in Asia
Citi and JCB International (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB, are to extend their partnership by adding JCB credit card merchants in nine countries and territories throughout Asia. Citi will phase in JCB card acceptance for purchases at Citibank merchants in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, together with expanding the existing relationships in Singapore, Taiwan and Guam.
Race is on to tap into Chinese m-payments
A study by ABI Research said China's mobile payments industry is burgeoning, attracting many participants wishing to grab first-mover advantage and vie for a bigger slice of the pie. These conditions mean that players, such as China UnionPay, and third party mobile payment service providers, and mobile network operators including China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom are all jostling for position.
Chinese regulator targets wealth malpractice
China's banking regulator reportedly plans to crack down on illegal practices in the wealth management sector, including banks purchasing each other's wealth management products or investing client funds in other banks' wealth management products. The 'crackdown' was reported in The Wall Street Journal, and is said to form part of the China Banking Regulatory Commission's (CBRC) goal of tightening its control over nonbank financial...
Payment collection service for merchants
NETS, Singapore's electronic payments provider, has launched a new service for merchants called iNETS QuickPay that aims to reduce costly and inefficient paper payment collections. The service enables merchants to collect payments from their customers via more than 100 iNETS Kiosks located in Singapore, or via their customers' mobile phones with iNETS Mobile. It also ensures merchants can avoid asking their customers to go to their premises to...
Record H1 2011 net profit for DBS
Singapore-headquartered DBS Group generated a record net profit of S$1.54bn ($1.27bn) for the first half of 2011 - up 23% from a year ago. Net interest income for the first half of 2011 increased year-on-year by 9% to a record S$2.32bn.
bKash mobile money service lauded as 'model for Asia'
The business model driving the operation of bKash, a recently launched mobile money provider in Bangladesh, "will be replicated" in other parts of the Asia-Pacific region, according to Aaron Oliver, managing director of Visa's Fundamo unit in Asia.
Branch banking appointment at YES BANK
YES BANK in India has hired Sonu Bhasin as group president of Branch banking. Her appointment comes after Rajagopal Srivatsa joined YES BANK from Axis Bank as the group president for liability management and transaction banking.
Amex and Groupon Hong Kong partner
American Express and Groupon Hong Kong have teamed up to allow American Express cardholders to save 60% on redemption of Groupon cash vouchers. The collaboration started with the launch of '8m Membership Rewards Points Lucky Draw' in which each transaction on the Groupon website made with an eligible American Express card will be able to receive one entry into the draw for a chance to be one of eight winners of one million reward points.
UnionPay signs NYCE ATM access deal
US electronic payments network NYCE and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have signed an agreement to allow cardholders reciprocal access to ATMs in both networks. In practical terms, the agreement means participating NYCE ATM cardholders will be able to conduct ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries in China.
Call for banking collaboration
Banks in Asia-Pacific, in common with other regions in the world, are being urged to explore collaborative solutions with their peers to address regulatory challenges. The recommendation was made in a white paper from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) called Facing the unknown This argues that each player in the financial system should support collaborative approaches to exploit open and standards-based...
UnionPay and HTC team up on mobile payments
Taiwan-headquartered mobile handset producer HTC and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have reportedly launched the first smartphone with built-in mobile payment capabilities that supports the network's m-payment standard. China Daily reported the launch of the new smartphone and said it is expected to be available from September.
UnionPay inks deal with Elavon
Global payments provider Elavon and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have signed a binding agreement to enable acceptance for UnionPay's debit and credit cards at Elavon's merchants in the US and Europe. Elavon's president and CEO Mike Passilla said: "Elavon is elated to support the expansion of China UnionPay card acceptance while promoting their international brand and supporting new opportunities to serve Chinese travellers - one of the fastest...
South-East Asian banks to 'remain resilient'
South-East Asian banks are likely to remain resilient this year after the strong regional economic recovery in 2010, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ivan Tan said: "We expect the robust economic outlook in South-East Asia, the strong domestic savings rates, and the generally healthy and corporate sectors to mitigate external pressure."
UOB to expand private banking team
Wilson Aw, executive director and head of private banking at United Overseas Bank (UOB), has said the bank plans to expand the headcount for its private banking business from over 40 to about 200 by 2016. UOB's private banking ambitions come amid a raft of economic data that underlines the strategic importance of Asia-Pacific as a growing hub for wealth management.
Singapore vs Switzerland debate rumbles on
New research has cast doubt on the likelihood of Singapore overtaking Switzerland as the most successful international financial centre by 2013. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recent Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey sparked industry debate because its respondents said they expect Singapore will overtake Switzerland to become the most successful international financial centre by 2013, given increased regulatory pressures on...
HSBC plans recruitment drive in Asia
HSBC reportedly plans to hire up to 15,000 people in Asia and Latin America over the next three years despite plans to cut approximately 30,000 jobs from its global workforce by 2013. HSBC's recruitment drive in Asia is understandable given that its operations in Asia delivered $6.82bn in pre-tax profits in the first half of 2011 - more than half of the total group profits.
Bank of Singapore expands SE Asian team
Bank of Singapore, a private bank and a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, has appointed Terence Seow, a private banker with more than 15 years of experience as part of the expansion of its Southeast Asian team Seows role at Bank of Singapore means he is responsible for expanding the financial institutions business in the Southeast Asia region, with a focus on the Indonesian market
NETS focuses on alternative form factors
Singapores electronic payments provider, NETS, is to offer the city-states youth market prepaid contactless-enabled key fobs and wristbands as alternative form factors to its NETS FlashPay cards. The key fobs will be the first of the alternative form factors to be launched next month
UnionPay and HTC team up on mobile payments
Taiwan-headquartered mobile handset producer HTC and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have reportedly launched the first smartphone with built-in mobile payment capabilities that supports the networks m-payment standard. China Daily reported the launch of the new smartphone and said it is expected to be available from this September
Kiwibank launches online gaming styled bank switching initiative
New Zealands Kiwibank has launched a gaming-styled online campaign that is hosted on a bespoke YouTube channel and is likened to a spy film launch to encourage customers to switch to the bank Commenting on the online campaign, Nicky Ashton, head of brand and marketing communications for Kiwibank, said: Its kind of like Get Smart meets the Bourne Identity, as the Kiwibank Green Ops team goes around making it easier for people to switch to...
Sri Lankan bank plans mobile wallet offering
A Sri Lankan bank plans to launch a mobile wallet platform that will enable it to offer microfinance, money transfer and bill payment services, Banking & Payments Asia has learnt The bank has asked for its name not to be disclosed at this point, but the mobile wallet platform, known as topCash, is expected to be available in two to three months time and will be launched with U Generation Mobile Solutions (UGEN)
MasterCard data highlights consumer confidence in Singapore
New figures released by MasterCard Worldwide indicate a positive economic outlook among Singaporeans and suggest that consumers in Singapore are planning to maintain a high level of discretionary spending in the coming months. These indications are based on data from the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), from 27 May to 24 July 2011, which found that spending by Singapore-based MasterCard cardholders increased by 49% year-on-year to $865.8 million...
India Post aims to deliver prepaid remittance initiative
India Post, the countrys post office, is awaiting regulatory approval for a nationwide prepaid card-based remittance system. According to a source familiar with the plan, IndiaPost wants to offer MasterCard-branded prepaid cards to speed up its remittance services at more than 155,000 branches across India.
UnionPay signs NYCE ATM access deal
US electronic payments network NYCE and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have signed an agreementto allow cardholders reciprocal access to ATMs in both networks In practical terms, the agreement means participating NYCE ATM cardholders will be able to conduct ATM withdrawals and balance inquiries in China
Indian combo card targets the 'wow' factor
IDBI Bank chairman and managing director R M Malla and the banks executive director R K Bansal reportedly said the new product would be offered to all new and existing account holders of IDBI Bank with a credit limit of three times of the customers monthly net salary with a maximum daily withdrawal limit of INR50,000 ($1,111)
SWIFT: collaborate to reduce regulatory compliance
Banks in Asia-Pacific, in common with other regions in the world, are being urged to explore collaborative solutions with their peers to address regulatory challenges The recommendation was made in a white paper from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) called Facing the unknown This argues that each player in the financial system should support collaborative approaches to exploit open and standards-based...
VendTek Systems partners with Afghanistan's Roshan and M-Paisa
Prepaid software company VendTek Systems is to develop additional mobile money functionality and provide consultancy support to M-Paisa, a mobile money transfer service in Afghanistan The arrangement is part of a partnership between VendTek Systems and Roshan, which is a telecommunications provider in Afghanistan M-Paisa president Zahir Khoja said the partnership with VendTek Systems would help it, as well as Roshan and M-Paisa, to expand...
bKash mobile money service lauded as 'model for Asia'
Mobile money provider bKash has teamed up with Fundamo, which is a subsidiary of Visa Inc, to deliver mobile financial services in Bangladesh As part of the deal, Fundamo will facilitate the delivery of mobile money services to unbanked and under-banked mobile subscribers in Bangladesh. Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, said: While only 9% of Bangladeshis are banked, more than 44% of the population owns a mobile phone, making Bangladesh an ideal...
UBP launches new JVs in Asia
Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) has launched joint ventures in Hong Kong and Taiwan to spearhead the development of its asset management business in Asia UBP Asset Management (Asia) Co will operate across Asia ex-Japan from its main office in Hong Kong, while Taipei-based TransGlobe Securities Investment Consulting Company will target the Taiwanese market.
PIF India launches project-based prepaid initiatives
The India Chapter of Prepaid International Forum (PIF) plans to roll out a series of projects to drive the implementation of cross-industry prepaid payment programmes Each project will be executed by a consortium of PIF India member organisations comprising banks, global and national schemes and nonbank issuers. Under the guidance of a newly formed governing council, each project will be selected according to a strict set of criteria, such as...
HSBC plans recruitment drive in Asia
HSBC reportedly plans to hire up to 15,000 people in Asia and Latin America over the next three years despite plans to cut approximately 30,000 jobs from its global workforce by 2013 HSBCs recruitment drive in Asia is understandable given that its operations in Asia delivered $6.82bn in pre-tax profits in the first half of 2010 over half of the total group profits
Citi and JCBI extend partnership in Asia
Citi and JCB International (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB, are to extend their partnership by adding JCB credit card merchants in nine countries and territories throughout Asia Citi will phase in JCB card acceptance for purchases at Citibank merchants in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, together with expanding the existing relationships in Singapore, Taiwan and Guam
Chinese regulator targets wealth management malpractice
Chinas banking regulator reportedly plans to crack down on illegal practices in the wealth management sector, including banks purchasing each others wealth management products or investing client funds in other banks wealth management products. The 'crackdown' was reported in The Wall Street Journal, and issaid toform part of the China Banking Regulatory Commissions (CBRC) goal of tightening its control over nonbank financial institutions and...
Monitise A-P seals Indonesian mobile money JV
Mobile money services provider Monitise Asia Pacific has signed a joint venture agreement with Indonesias PT Astra Graphia Information Technology (AGIT) to develop mobile financial services for the countrys population Indonesias PermataBank has entered into a memorandum of understanding to be the launch bank for the new joint venture. Commenting on the joint venture, Monitise Asia Pacific chief executive Darren Sugden said: Indonesia has seen...
DBS generates record H1 2011 net profit
Singapore-headquartered DBS Group generated a record net profit of S$1.54bn ($1.27bn) for the first half of 2011 up 23% from a year ago. Net interest income for the first half of 2011 increased year-on-year by 9% to a record S$2.32bn
Bangkok set to top A-P visitor spending
Bangkok is projected to have the highest visitor spending in 2011 among the top ten destination cities in Asia-Pacific, according to data released by MasterCard Worldwide The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities says inbound passengers to Bangkok are estimated to spend $14.4 billion in 2011 Of the top ten destination cities in Asia-Pacific, Sydney is expected to come second, where visitor expenditure is estimated to reach $13.8...
SE Asian banks to 'remain resilient'
Southeast Asian banks are likely to remain resilient this year after the strong regional economic recovery in 2010, according to a new report from Standard & Poors Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ivan Tan said: "We expect the robust economic outlook in Southeast Asia, the strong domestic savings rates, and the generally healthy and corporate sectors to mitigate external pressure."
Ian Narev to take the helm at CBA
Ian Narev is to become the CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) upon the retirement of Ralph Norris at the end of November 2011 Narev has been with the Commonwealth Bank Group since May 2007 and has been group executive for business and private banking at the financial institution since January 2009. Prior to his current role, Narev spent 18 months as group head of strategy at CBA where he led the acquisition of Bankwest and the...
Singapore v Switzerland debate rumbles on
New research has cast doubt on the likelihood of Singapore overtaking Switzerland as the most successful international financial centre by 2013 Survey sparked industry debate because its respondents said they expect Singapore will overtake Switzerland to become the most successful international financial centre by 2013, given increased regulatory pressures on offshore centres
Nokia's mobile money vision with Pakistan's MCB Bank
Nokias director of mobile financial services says the handset manufacturers mobile money agreement with MCB Bank in Pakistan can grow the bank by two to three times its size in the next three to five years Speaking to Banking & Payments Asia, Gerhard Romen, director of mobile financial services at Nokia, said partnering with MCB Bank was a logical step as the handset manufacturer is already rolling out mobile money services in the Indian...
Thai banking sector branches out
Senior banking executives in Thailand have revealed that a key theme for the sector in 2011 is to expand the number of bank branches in the country Karen Campbell, executive vice-president and head of retail product distribution at Bangkok Bank, told Banking & Payments Asia that the time is right for the financial institution to expand its branch network in order to service the needs of the countrys emerging middle-class segment. Bangkok...
ANZ sets out technology focus
Connectivity, customer-centricity and standardisation are among the key technology principles driving ANZs strategy as a super regional player, according to the banks chief information officer and deputy CEO As part of a technology update, Anne Weatherston, chief information officer at ANZ, and Graham Hodges, deputy CEO at the bank, said the business and IT benefits of connectivity, customer centricity and standardisation include a joined-up...
Payment collection service launched for merchants
NETS, Singapores electronic payments provider, has launched a new service for merchants called iNETS QuickPay that aims to reduce costly and inefficient paper payment collections. The service enables merchants to collect payments from their customers via more than 100 iNETS Kiosks located in Singapore, or via their customers mobile phones with iNETS Mobile It also ensures merchants can avoid asking their customers to go to their premises to...
UOB to expand private banking team
Wilson Aw, executive director and head of private banking at United Overseas Bank (UOB) has said the bank plans to expand the headcount for its private banking business from over 40 to about 200 by 2016. Singapore-headquartered UOB also aims to grow its earning asset base to between S$50 billion and S$60 billion ($41.1 billion - $49.4 billion) in the same timeframe, added Aw
MasterCard and UnionPay strike 'win-win' deal
China UnionPay (UnionPay) and MasterCard Worldwide have signed a payment gateway service agreement that will enable MasterCard's e-commerce platform to accept UnionPay cards. The agreement will involve cooperation between UnionPay and MasterCard to configure their respective systems to equip MasterCard's payment gateway with the ability to process transactions made using UnionPay cards for e-commerce merchants outside of mainland China.
BOCI and JCBI announce EC merchant acquiring alliance
The EC market is growing rapidly in China, almost tripling EC sales volume in three years from 2007 to 2010. In line with this fast-growing trend, BOCI and JCBI are aiming to further strengthen their alliance by enabling JCB card acceptance at major e-commerce merchants in China for about 69m JCB cardholders worldwide.
Future of cheques in NZ to be reviewed
The New Zealand banking industry is to begin a wide-ranging consultation on the future of paper cheques in the country. New Zealand has one of the highest uses of electronic transactions in the world The growth and expansion of this system over many years has seen the use of some traditional payment instruments, such as cheques, decline, says the Payments NZ Board, which is undertaking the initial consultation.
Call for 'smarter' use of social media
Banks should avoid using websites like Facebook to befriend customers and instead use social media to proactively monitor and respond to customer feedback. That is the opinion of Lance Tay, senior director for Oracle's financial service and global business unit in Asia-Pacific and Japan, who argues that such a strategy would help banks to manage their reputation and improve the level of customer service they provide. Speaking to Banking &...
DBS targets Indian expansion
Singapore's DBS has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase its number of branches in India from 12 to 16 by the end of 2011. India is an important market for DBS in South Asia and DBS is the largest Singaporean bank in the Indian market. DBS India has also been the third-largest revenue contributor to DBS Group after Singapore and Hong Kong for the past few years.
CBA targets growth in Indonesia
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is said to be planning to nearly double its presence in Indonesia over the next few years in a push for fresh sources of growth outside Australia. Chief executive Ralph Norris was reported to have said that CBA aims to expand to 150 branches in its Jakarta-based banking arm, up from a little more than 80 now. While ANZ has been spearheading the expansion of Australian banks into Asia, CBA has been quietly building...
JCB outlines e-commerce potential with UnionPay
The expansion of JCB's alliance with China UnionPay (UnionPay) could involve new areas of cooperation in e-commerce, merchant acceptance and card issuance. Kozaburo Kamimura, vice-president for strategic planning at JCB, explained the thinking to Banking & Payments Asia after Japan's JCB signed a memorandum of understanding with UnionPay on 10 June 2011 to expand the current strategic relationship between the two networks and develop...
Pakistani bank signs mobile money deal
Pakistan's MCB Bank and mobile handset manufacturer Nokia have signed a cooperation agreement for the development and extension of financial services to millions of mobile phone users. Teppo Paavola, general manager for mobile financial services at Nokia, is committed to financial inclusion in emerging markets, and Pakistan, in its view, has one of the fastest evolving mobile money ecosystems in the world. Ali Mubashir Kazmi, senior executive...
HSBC appoints global private banking CEO
HSBC has appointed Krishna Patel as chief executive of its global private banking business. Patel, currently CEO of HSBC Africa and one of HSBC's most experienced executives, will start his new role on 1 September 2011. He will initially be based in Geneva, Switzerland, and will report to HSBC group chief executive Stuart Gulliver.
Consumer confidence dips in Asia-Pacific
Overall consumer confidence has fallen in 71% of the Asia-Pacific markets surveyed for MasterCard Worldwide, with Japan, New Zealand and Thailand showing widespread pessimism across five key indicators. The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence found that 10 out of the 14 Asia-Pacific markets polled experienced an overall decline in consumer confidence when compared to the previous six months.
Philippine bank links up with UnionPay
Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO) has begun issuing and acquiring for China UnionPay (UnionPay) in the Philippines. As part of its cooperation with UnionPay, BDO has agreed to open 10,000 POS terminals for UnionPay within one year. BDO's issuing and acquiring business for UnionPay involves a card management service from payment software and services company GFG Group.
HDFC Bank launches ultra-premium credit card
HDFC Bank has launched the first ultra-premium credit card targeting the 'uber rich' in India. Called INFINIA, the credit card is promoted as a virtually "no limits" product. The card will initially be offered to a select group of 5,000 individuals.
StanChart's South Asia head poised for move
Neeraj Swaroop, Standard Chartered Bank's regional CEO for India and South Asia, is expected to move to Singapore as CEO of the bank's South-East Asia operations, according to media reports. Swaroop is said to be taking over from Ray Ferguson, who is currently chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore and regional chief executive for the bank in South-East Asia.
Artio Global targets Australian market
As part of its strategy to increase its distribution into Asia, New York-based investment management firm Artio Global Investors has opened an office in Sydney, Australia. Richard Pell, chief investment officer and CEO of Artio Global, said the firm will bring select offerings to the local institutional market.
New India private banking head
Standard Chartered Private Bank has appointed Sandeep Das as managing director and head of its private banking operation in India. Based in Mumbai, Das will report to Stephen Evans, head of Standard Chartered's private banking business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and the Americas. Das will also report to Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, Standard Chartered Bank's regional head for South Asia and its group chief marketing officer for consumer...
Mobile money warning for banks
Rapid developments in the mobile money industry mean that banks must not be relegated to a "dumb pipe", according to a senior figure at CitiCards. Dickson Chu, head of global new product development and alliances at Citi, sounded the warning at the GSMA Mobile Money Summit in Singapore. Speaking at a media round table during the event, Chu said: "We are still at the level of a mobile network operator approach vs a bank-led one, but the reality...
Santander axes Indian call centres
Santander's new boss in the UK, Ana Botin, will close all of its Indian call centres and redirect all calls to Britain as part of a drive to improve customer service at the rapidly expanding high street bank.
Bullish view on corporate prepaid
The regional head for wholesale cards at Citi has presented a bullish outlook for corporate prepaid cards in Australia and India. Jason Tiede, director and regional head for wholesale cards, which is part of Citi's global transaction services business in Asia-Pacific, told Banking & Payments Asia there is much interest from corporates in Asia-Pacific to use corporate prepaid products as tools for employee commission, incentive and payroll...
Mobile boost for Indonesian MFIs
Bank Andara, a wholesale bank for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia, and mobile financial services provider Fundamo have launched AndaraLink, the world's first mobile-enabled microfinance services network. The network enables MFIs to provide 40m financially excluded Indonesians with access to financial services via mobile terminals connected to a mobile network. Irianto Kusumadjaja, COO and CIO of Bank Andara, said MFIs need a fast...
New hires at JP Morgan PWM
Mark Evans has joined JP Morgan Private Wealth Management (PWM) as managing director, and market manager for expatriates' PWM. Prior to joining JP Morgan, he spent almost 10 years with Royal Bank of Canada in London.
MAS boosts capital requirements for Singapore-incorporated banks
Singapore-incorporated banks will be required to meet capital adequacy requirements that are higher than the Basel III global capital standards. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made the ruling because it says each of the Singapore-incorporated banks is systemically-important in Singapore and has a substantial retail presence. The announcement by the MAS means Singapore-incorporated banks will meet a minimum Common Equity Tier 1...
Philippine bank links up with UnionPay
Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO) has begun issuing and acquiring for China UnionPay (UnionPay) in the Philippines As part of its cooperation with UnionPay, BDO has agreed to open 10,000 POS terminals for UnionPay within one year BDOs issuing and acquiring business for UnionPay involves a card management service from payment software and services company GFG Group
Call for 'smarter' use of social media
Banks should avoid using websites like Facebook to befriend customers and instead use social media to proactively monitor and respond to customers feedback That is the opinion of Lance Tay, senior director for Oracles financial service and global business unit in Asia-Pacific and Japan, who argues that such a strategy would help banks to manage their reputation and improve the level of customer service they provide Speaking to Banking &...
Bullish view on corporate prepaid cards
Jason Tiede, director and regional head for wholesale cards, which is part of Citis global transaction services business in Asia-Pacific, told Banking & Payments Asia there is much interest from corporates in Asia-Pacific to use corporate prepaid products as tools for employee commission, incentive and payroll payments.
HDFC Bank launches ultra-premium credit card
HDFC Bank has launched the first ultra-premium credit card targeting the uber rich in India. Called INFINIA, the credit card is promoted as a virtually no limits product The card will initially be offered to a select group of 5,000 individuals
JCB outlines e-commerce potential with UnionPay
The expansion of JCBs alliance with China UnionPay (UnionPay) could involve new areas of cooperation in e-commerce, merchant acceptance and card issuance. Kozaburo Kamimura, vice president for strategic planning at JCB, explained the thinking to Banking & Payments Asia after Japans JCB signed a memorandum of understanding with UnionPay on 10 June 2011 to expand the current strategic relationship between the two networks and develop...
Further interest rate hikes forecast for China
Credit Suisses private banking division has forecast that the Peoples Bank of China (PBC) will have two more interest rate hikes of 25 basis points each before the end of this year. The forecasted interest rate hikes by the Chinese central bank are described as a precautionary move to bring the real interest rates back into positive territory, according to research from Credit Suisses private banking division.
DBS targets Indian expansion
Singapore's DBS has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase its number of branches in India from 12 to 16 by the end of 2011 India is an important market for DBS in South Asia and DBS is the largest Singaporean bank in the Indian market DBS India is also the third largest revenue contributor to DBS Group after Singapore and Hong Kong for the past few years.
Thai banking sentiment remains 'upbeat'
Thailands banking sector will be unaffected by the recent election victory of Thailands Puea Thai party, according to Tawatchai Yongkittikul, secretary-general of the Thai Bankers Association With all eyes on the economic policies of Thailands incoming prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Yongkittikul said bankers are optimistic about theoutlook for the Thai banking sector following the election results. He added that although there was much...
OCBC mulls m-payments launch
OCBC Banks head of debit cards Kenneth Tan has revealed that the bank is considering launching an NFC-enabled mobile payments service. Tan explained that the time is ripe to provide a payment alternative for technology savvy consumers given the high rate of mobile phone penetration and the increased introduction of new NFC-enabled mobile phones in the market
Rosy outlook for Asia painted
Investment experts at RBS Coutts have painted an optimistic outlook for the Asian economy over the remainder of 2011 as inflation is expected to decline and a continued US economic recovery is forecast to provide an encouraging backdrop for Asian risk assets. Norman Villamin, head of investment strategy for Asia at RBS Coutts, noted that the global economic recovery continued in the first half of 2011, led not only by expected US growth, but...
StanChart's South Asia head poised for move
Neeraj Swaroop, Standard Chartered Banks regional CEO for India and South Asia, is expected to move to Singapore as CEO of the banks Southeast Asia operations, according to media reports Swaroop is said to be taking over from Ray Ferguson, who is currently chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore and regional chief executive for the bank in Southeast Asia
MasterCard and UnionPay strike 'win-win' deal
China UnionPay (UnionPay) and MasterCard Worldwide have signed a payment gateway service agreement that will enable MasterCards e-commerce platform to accept UnionPay cards The agreement will involve cooperation between UnionPay and MasterCard to configure their respective systems to equip MasterCards payment gateway with the ability to process transactions made using UnionPay cards for e-commerce merchants outside of mainland China
Mobile money warning for banks
Rapid developments in the mobile money industry mean that banks must not be relegated to a dumb pipe, according to a senior figure at CitiCards. Dickson Chu, head of global new product development and alliances at Citi, sounded the warning at the GSMA Mobile Money Summit in Singapore Speaking at a media roundtable during the event, Chu said: We are still at the level of a mobile network operator approach versus a bank-led one, but the reality...
MAS boosts capital requirements for Singapore-incorporated banks
Singapore-incorporated banks will be required to meet capital adequacy requirements that are higher than the Basel III global capital standards.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made the ruling because it says each of the Singapore-incorporated banks is systemically-important in Singapore and has a substantial retail presence. The announcement by the MAS means Singapore-incorporated banks will meet a minimum Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1)...
Strike hits StanChart in South Korea
Employees at Standard Chartereds South Korean banking operation have gone on strike to protest against a plan that would determine compensation based on individual performance Bloomberg reported that about half the employees at Seoul-based Standard Chartered First Bank Korea would protest against the plan
Mobile-enabled microfinance services network launched
Bank Andara, a wholesale bank for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia, and mobile financial services provider Fundamo have launched AndaraLink, the worlds first mobile-enabled microfinance services network The network enables MFIs to provide 40 million financially excluded Indonesians with access to financial services via mobile terminals connected to a mobile network. Irianto Kusumadjaja, COO and CIO of Bank Andara, said MFIs need a...
Consumer confidence dips in Asia-Pacific
Overall consumer confidence has fallen in 71 percent of the Asia-Pacific markets surveyed for MasterCard Worldwide, with Japan, New Zealand and Thailand showing widespread pessimism across five key indicators The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence found that ten out of the 14 AsiaPacific markets polled experienced an overall decline in consumer confidence when compared to the previous six months
APAC's booming HNW market
Asia-Pacific has surpassed Europe in terms of the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs), according to a world wealth report released by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini. The number of HNWIs in Asia-Pacific totaled 3.3 million in 2010, a rise of 9.7 percent compared to 2009 In comparison, the number of HNWIs in Europe was 3.1 million in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 6.3 percent.
JCB and UnionPay expand alliance
Japans JCB and China UnionPay (UnionPay) have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their current strategic relationship and develop potential new areas of cooperation JCB provided little detail on the move, but said the expansion of the current alliance between the two networks would aim to provide new products to enhance customer convenience. The partnership between JCB and UnionPay dates back to 2003, when both players signed a...
New India private banking head
Standard Chartered Private Bank has appointed Sandeep Das as managing director and head of its private banking operation in India Based in Mumbai, Das will report to Stephen Evans, head of Standard Chartereds private banking business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and the Americas Das will also report to Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, Standard Chartered Banks regional head for South Asia andits groupchief marketing officer for consumer banking.
Mashreq Qatar offers enhanced wealth management services
Mashreq Qatar, one of the leading financial institutions in the Gulf region, has announced a raft of savings and protection plans, insurance, global mutual funds, fixed income securities and treasury based financial solutions. With Qatar's booming economy and significant pool of high net worth individuals, small business enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients, Mashreq's investment specialists will offer financial planning solutions to...
Mizuho group to merge retail, corporate units
Mizuho Financial Group, one of Japan's largest banking groups, plans to merge its two core banking units, Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Corporate Bank, by 2013 and reshuffle management positions. The move is aimed at restoring confidence among clients after a massive computer system failure that crippled the banks automated teller machines for days following the 11 March earthquake. According to media reports, Mizuho Bank president Satoru Nishibori...
Citi platform for Chinese HNW customers
Citibank China has launched a new platform to provide emerging affluent Chinese customers with a greater level of personalisation, as well as privileged global banking services.The emerging affluent customers are those with annual income of over CNY200,000 ($31,000) or investable assets more than CNY500,000. The new platform offers a dedicated personal banker, no-fee ATM withdrawals at all domestic ATMs (Citi and non-Citi ATMs) and emergency...
Hana Bank plans path in China
Hana Bank, Korea's fourth-largest lender by assets, aims to increase its presence globally from China to Indonesia and the US with localisation, differentiation and synergy maximisation strategies. Hana has been securing mutual investment with Chinese banks under its long-term vision to develop a future growth engine and diversify asset portfolios via overseas expansion. The bank plans to differentiate the bank from its competitors spreading...
Julius Baer: Asian millionaires' wealth to triple by 2015
Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group has said assets held by rich Asians will triple to $16trn by 2015, as the region's fastest growing major economies create more millionaires. According to a preview of the Asian wealth report to be published in August by Bank Julius Baer & Co in partnership with CLSA, China may add 883,000 high-net worth people by 2015, bolstering growth of assets in the region from $5trn last year.
Cassis completes integration with MasterCard's MOTAPS
Cassis International, the pioneer in trusted service management (TSM) services for near-field communication (NFC) mobile devices, has expanded to support MasterCard's Mobile Over-the-Air Provisioning Service (MOTAPS), the world's first enabling platform for NFC programmes. MasterCard MOTAPS enables issuing banks to have a standardised, easy to use, cost-effective and secure method to transfer and install PayPass-enabled payment account...
ANZ ups Asian wealth management business
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) will engage in "aggressive hiring" as part of a strategy to double its wealth management business in Asia over the next three to four years. ANZ head of Asia-Pacific, Europe and America Alex Thursby said the bulk of any hiring will likely be in China and Vietnam, as ANZ's wealth-management business is expected to grow 15%-25% per year during the period. Thursby said ANZ will raise its stake in...
Standard Chartered launches mobile banking app in India
Standard Chartered Bank, India's largest international bank, has launched Standard Chartered Breeze, a mobile banking application. The bank has partnered with Adobe to create a simple yet richly interactive platform for the customers to do their transactions securely anytime, anywhere.
Malaysia's RHB eyes Thai acquisitions
RHB Bank, Malaysia's fifth-largest lender, plans to aggressively expand its banking business in Thailand, including acquisitions to tap strong growth in the country's banking sector. RHB principal officer Renzo Viegas said the current RHB takeover bid by Malaysia's top two banks - Maybank and CIMB - would not affect its own expansion plans.
Oracle unveils Siebel Branch Teller 8.1.1
Oracle has introduced Siebel Branch Teller 8.1.1 with fully integrated Oracle Business Intelligence, simplifying and streamlining report creation. Oracle said Release 8.1.1 enables flexibility in serving customers and increased productivity through increased control over customer sessions and cashless support for non-monetary customer servicing needs.
Stanchart launches Online Trading platform
Standard Chartered has launched an Online Trading platform to allow customers in Singapore to trade shares over 10,000 securities in 14 exchanges across 10 countries: Singapore, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, the Netherlands and the US. With Online Trading integrated within the Online Banking website, customers can, at any time, see a consolidated view of their holdings and banking relationship and manage...
CCB does not rule out merger with Russian commercial banks
China Construction Bank (CCB) president Zhang Jianguo announced, at the opening ceremony of CCB's first representative office in Russia, that the bank did not rule out the possibility of acquisitions of Russian commercial banks or investment in Russian banking field. CCB, China's second-largest state-owned commercial bank with a total value rank of second in the world, sees Russia as a key market in CCB's overseas branch expansion.
Singapore's OCBC Bank woos young workers
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) has launched a new banking programme, "FRANK by OCBC" to engage young working adults. The programme is comprised of three key building blocks
Indonesia lifts wealth management ban
Bank Indonesia, the country's banking regulator, has lifted a ban on 23 banks from seeking new wealthy customers for their priority banking services. The ban was imposed last month following alleged embezzlement of client funds at Citibank Indonesia and alleged fraud at Bank Mega. However, some banks are still suspended from recruiting clients after failing to comply with the central bank findings.
Quilvest Wealth sets up operations in Singapore
Quilvest Wealth Management has established its presence in Singapore under brand name CBP Quilvest Singapore. The wealth management and family office group is the result of a recent merger between the Compagnie de Banque Privee of Luxembourg, which offers specialized private banking services, and Quilvest SA, a financial services company.
Julius Baer obtains $100m QFII quota
With the prerequisite licence and quota in place, Julius Baer will launch a China Fund to allow clients from around the world direct access to the growth of the domestic China market and to benefit from the internationalisation of the yuan renminbi.
Hana and Lone Star agree to extend KEB deal for 6 months
South Korea's Hana Financial Group and US buyout fund Lone Star have agreed to extend the $4.3bn takeover deal of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) for six months. Even after the original deadline for the transaction lapsed in late May, Hana and Lone Star continued to discuss an extension of the deal as regulatory delays threatened to derail Hana's purchase of a 51% stake in KEB.
Silver Bridge unveils management solution
Silver Bridge, a Boston-based independent wealth management firm, has launched IntelliGen, a new information management solution designed to address the private wealth and legacy needs of individuals, multi-generational families, family offices and their advisers. The enhanced version aggregates disparate data, integrates key functions and applications such as portfolio management, tax and accounting, administrative services, and generates...
Siemens gets OK to open non-banking finance company in India
German engineering conglomerate Siemens has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate a non-banking finance company for its financial services business in the country. The company said Siemens Financial Services Private Limited will focus on developing an asset financing business by offering loans, leasing and other finance products. It will provide financial assistance to its customers in the industry, energy and...
Maybank, CIMB get nod for RHB deal talks
CIMB and Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) have won approval from Bank Negara, the Malaysia's central bank, to start merger talks with RHB, which is the country's fifth-largest lender. According to media reports, RHB Capital has hired Credit Suisse as an adviser as CIMB and Maybank explore rival takeover bids.
IndusInd Bank partners with ECS for credit cards
ElectraCard Services (ECS), a leading business solutions provider, has signed an agreement with IndusInd Bank to provide technology and processing services for their credit card business effective 1 June. IndusInd bank had recently announced its foray into the credit card business, after acquiring the credit card business of Deutsche Bank in India.
Barclays launches CNY services for private banking clients in HK
Barclays Wealth, the global wealth management division of Barclays PLC, has launched yuan renminbi (CNY) services exclusively for its private banking clients in Hong Kong. Investment products to be offered include: CNY deposits, CNY deliverable spots and forwards, foreign exchange swaps, inward and outward remittances as well as bonds. In addition to providing a full suite of private wealth management solutions, Barclays Wealth also caters to...
Nokia aiming for pan-India coverage for e-wallet by year-end
Handset maker Nokia is aiming for a pan-India coverage for its Nokia Money, the mobile payment services. Nokia Money enables mobile phone users to transfer money to another person by using the person's mobile phone number and also top up the prepaid card or pay utility bills. Nokias e-wallet allows its customers to have up to INR50,000 ($1,120) in cash in their mobile phones, as per the directive from the Reserve Bank of India.
Foreign banks set to benefit from new CBRC rules
China's banking regulator is expected to publish new draft rules on many aspects of the wealth management industry from cross-selling to training requirements within the next month. Speaking at a Hong Kong Forum in May organised by BPA's sister publication Private Banker International, Armstrong Chen, deputy director at the supervisory rules and regulations department of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), said the proposed rules...
Maybank targets debit card spend growth
Maybank deputy president Lim Hong Tat has said the financial institution expects debit card spend to double this financial year compared to last year. Lim, who is also Maybank's head of community financial services, explained that the increase in the banks debit card spend will continue to be boosted by promotions and rewards, particularly among students and homemakers. Lim made the comments at a special ceremony in which Visa Malaysia...
SBI pinpoints ATM expansion
US-based ATM provider Diebold is to deploy approximately 1,000 cash dispensers, more than 600 full-function lobby ATMs and 60 cash recyclers for the State Bank of India. It is part of State Bank Group's (SBG) plan to support its strategic self-service expansion plan and serve its customer base across India, including the population in the country's rural and remote areas.
Success for Ingenico affiliate in China
Bank of China (BOC) has resumed its purchase plan of POS terminals and confirmed Fujian Landi, an affiliate of payment terminal provider Ingenico, as its first supplier. According to Ingenico, Fujian Landi is the largest provider in the secure electronic payments industry in China with an estimated market share of circa 35%.
Deutsche Bank to sell Indian credit card unit
Deutsche Bank is to pull out of the Indian credit card sector and has agreed a deal to transfer its Indian credit card unit to IndusInd Bank. Under the agreement, IndusInd Bank will get access to 200,000 Deutsche Bank cardholders and the entire operating platform of Deutsche's cards franchise.
Study rates ICBC as world's most valuable financial brand
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has been rated the most valuable financial institution brand in the world, according to a study. The sixth annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study by Millward Brown, a research agency and part of communications group WWP, named ICBC as the world's most valuable financial institution brand in 2011 -ahead of well-known brands such as American Express, Citi and HSBC.
Malaysian consumers top online bill payers
Over half of the internet users in six emerging e-commerce markets in Asia-Pacific are going online to pay their bills with Malaysian consumers spending the most, according to the 2010 Visa E-commerce Consumer Monitor. Of those 3,156 surveyed from mainland China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, 60% said they have paid their bills online in the last 12 months and 97% said they would continue to do so over the next six months.
Westpac New Zealand payments hub
Westpac New Zealand is to use a service from Logica that will help increase automation levels, streamline payments processing and reduce operational costs.The Logica All Payments Solution will deliver a centralised, domestic payments hub for Westpac New Zealand, allowing the bank to launch new products and services to its 1.2m customers.
DBS inaugurates new Taiwan headquarters
DBS Bank has signalled its commitment to strengthening its presence in Taiwan by inaugurating its new Taiwanese headquarters at Shin Kong Xinyi Financial Center, which is at the heart of Taipei's financial district. DBS Group Holdings' chairman Peter Seah said: "Taiwan plays an integral role in Asia's rise and DBS Taiwan is fast becoming a key part of the DBS Group. We are very pleased with the progress we are making in Taiwan and are firmly...
First quarter profits fall at UOB
Singaporean banks OCBC and DBS reported rising profits for the first quarter of 2011, with the exception of UOB, which recorded a dip. OCBC reported a net profit of S$628m ($503m) in the first quarter of 2011 - up 24% from the previous quarter. The banks non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 0.9% was unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2010 and a year-on-year improvement of 1.5%.
Australian ATM provider accepts UnionPay cards
Payment service provider EFTEX has agreed to accept China UnionPay cards at all its ATMS in Australia. Nearly 40% of ATMs in Australia and tens of thousands of points of sale now accept China UnionPay cards, following the agreement with EFTEX. The Chinese payments network said it has gradually increased the number of retailers in Australia accepting its cards to more than 70,000.
Woori sales process re-initiated
The bid to sell the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation's 56.97% stake in Woori Finance Holdings has been revived. The initiative comes after South Korea suspended the tender for the sale of a controlling stake in Woori Financial Group in December 2010 because of a lack of bidders.
VietinBank strengthens link with UniCredit
Vietnam's VietinBank and Italy's UniCredit have signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement to further strengthen their existing relationship and provide access to each player's customer information. Relations between VietinBank and UniCredit have been good for several years and they have cooperated in areas including foreign exchange, payments and remittances.
ReD looks to boost Japan's cross-border e-commerce
Payment fraud prevention provider Retail Decisions (ReD) has joined forces with Japanese product forwarding service Tenso, in a deal that is touted as a major step forward for the countrys e-commerce. In collaboration with its Japanese partner, principal IT service consultant and provider NDS, ReDs payment fraud prevention system ReD Shield will be deployed in a bid to screen all online sales through Tenso.com - a subsidiary of e-commerce...
Mitsubishi UFJ sets higher net income target
Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has targeted a 2.9% increase in net income for the year ending 31 March 2012 - after generating a net income of 583bn ($7.1bn) for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2011. As for other policy initiatives in 2011, the bank said that, in the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster, it would contribute to the recovery of Japan by providing customers with full financial support.
ABC introduces first IC card in China
Agricultural Bank of China has rolled out the country's first domestic tourism integrated circuit (IC) card. The IC card - known as Zhangjiajie Tourism Card - includes a magnetic stripe and chip functionality that allows it to support offline transactions.
Broadridge sets its sights on Japan
Technology services company Broadridge Financial Solutions has announced a software purchase agreement with Japan's Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI) in a bid to increase its processing abilities. The technology provides connectivity and associated processing for Japanese government bonds and Japanese yen payments that are cleared and settled through the Bank of Japan's BOJ-Net system.
ICICI Bank targets Sri Lankan remittance market
India's ICICI bank has announced the launch of Money2SriLanka, an online remittance tracking facility in collaboration with Sri Lanka's Sampath Bank. This service will be piloted in Canada and the UK and is due to be shortly rolled out in Australia, the US, South-East Asia and the eurozone in the second phase.
Ziraat Bank rolls out new micro-branches
Ziraat Bank, Turkey's largest lender by assets, is to roll out 1,000 units of unstaffed micro-branches where customers will be served by an advisor via video-link. The state-owned bank has already rolled out 50 so-called Goruntulu Islem Merkezi (GIM) units across Turkey and is planning to open another 50 units by the end of the year.
Payment landscape changing Down Under
Contactless is a technology that can thrive if played and utilised in the correct manner. Yet unfortunately too many markets appear to be too heavily focused on the issuing side of the game and preoccupied on the form in which the technology comes, which suffocates and prevents the technology from flourishing into the game-changing tool it has been touted as becoming. However, Australia appears to be a market that has the balance just right...
Krungthai Bank launches online banking
To mark the new services launch, the bank has been offering an iPad 2 to the first 10,000 customers who open a NetFixed deposit account to use as a tool for accessing KTB netbank services.
HSBC plans recruitment drive in China and Singapore
HSBC plans to add at least 200 employees in China annually through to 2016, and expand its Singapore workforce by about 1,000, as wealth migrates there from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and China. It is believed the bank intends to offer more wealth management products in China, including insurance and equity services to customers with minimum deposits and investments of CNY500,000 ($77,000).
Algorithmics launches Algo Strategic Business Planning solution
Algorithmics, an enterprise risk solutions provider, has launched Algo Strategic Business Planning, a new solution to provide banks' senior management with holistic risk oversight, analysis and planning across their institutions. Algo Strategic Business Planning will facilitate both day-to-day oversight and long-term strategic planning by providing senior managers and decision makers with a holistic overview of their organisation derived from...
Union Bank plans entry into wealth management
Having received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter the mutual fund (MF) sector, the Union Bank of India is planning a business partnership with a foreign player. Once the asset management business is in place, we will start the process of looking for an internationally reputed player for our proposed wealth management business," said Union Bank of India chairman and managing director MV Nair.
US banks axe loyalty programmes
Wells Fargo, the third-largest US bank by deposits, announced on 25 March its debit card rewards programme and combined credit and debit loyalty programme would end for new customers on 27 March at former Wachovia branches and from 15 April at Wells Fargo branches. If the Durbin Amendment contained in the Dodd-Frank Reform Act passes unamended it would slash by around 70% the fee banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions to a...
HP launches prefunded card services
HP Prepaid Card Services, a new service launched by Hewlett-Packard (HP), will provide banking clients with a flexible, secure and self-service payment delivery solution for prefunded cards. As an extension of the HP Cards and Payments Services portfolio, these services support a wide range of debit, credit and prepaid options, including the capability to utilise multiple currencies on a single card.
EzRemit expands presence in India
EzRemit, part of BFC Group Holdings and a leading money transfer company, has signed a strategic agreement with India's Punjab National Bank (PNB), to expand its presence in India. With this agreement, PNB will offer EzRemit's instant money transfer services across all its branches in India
UCO Bank plans to open branches overseas
Indias state-owned UCO Bank plans to open more branches in South-East Asia to expand its presence in overseas markets. We are looking at expansion overseas," said UCO Bank chairman and managing director Arun Kaul.
UnionPay collaborates with Citibank
China-based bankcard association China UnionPay and Citibank have signed a cooperation agreement, to jointly develop UnionPay card merchant acceptance business in seven countries in Asia According to the agreement, Citibank will successively open UnionPay card acceptance business at its merchants in seven countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
China UnionPay, CCB launch dual-currency credit card in HK
National bank card association China UnionPay and China Construction Bank (Asia) had launched a dual-currency credit card in Hong Kong to facilitate card holders who travel between the mainland and the Special Administrative Region. China UnionPay vice-president Cai Jianbo said the card has two accounts that enable transactions to be settled in yuan renminbi if spending occurs in China and in HK$ for spending in HK and overseas.
Wincor Nixdorf cash recycling system
Wincor Nixdorf, a provider of IT solutions and services to retailers and retail banking, has launched CINEO C4060 44, a new cash recycling system The new system has four additional banknote storage modules for use at sites with high transaction volumes. The new system offers maximum capacity with a minimum footprint," said Wincor Nixdorf cash systems product manager Stephan Okroy.
OCBC Bank wins Visa service quality award
Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) has become one of only two non-US banks to win a prestigious Global Visa Service Quality Award 2009, in the Multi-National Acquirer for the Lowest Chargeback-to-Sales Ratio category. The awards, established in 1992, acknowledge superior performance and continued service improvement in key areas that directly affect Visa cardholders and merchants. Visa global head of client support...
London still top private banking spot
London retained top spot as the leading global financial centre for private banking and wealth management in 2011, as Asia-Pacific hubs pushed into the top 10 of the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).
Banking services in Thailand Post branches
Thailand Post is offering the banking service in collaboration with Bank of Ayudhya, Thai Military Bank, CIMB Thai Bank, Tisco Bank, Thaicredit Retail Bank and UOB Bank. Customers will be allowed to deposit cash of not more than $1,660 per transaction and not more than $3,300 per account per day.
DBS private arm to target $10m+ clients
DBS Private Bank will launch a new private client division in the coming weeks. The private client segment will be added to its two existing customer groupings of affluent and high net worth individuals in an effort to better segment its wealth management business. A DBS spokesperson would not provide further details, though it looks likely the private client business will serve individuals with in excess of $10m in liquid assets.
China UnionPay develops its card business in UAE
China UnionPay has partnered with Network International (NI), a UAE-based payment solutions provider, allowing NI merchants to accept payments via UnionPay cards. UnionPay executive vice-president Cai Jianbo said UnionPay card is going global accompanied by the going out of the Chinese people.
China Construction Bank, Banco de Santander JV
China Construction Bank, Chinas second-largest bank and Spanish banking giant Banco Santander have agreed to set up a new rural banking joint venture in China. According to CCB, the proposed joint venture will have an initial investment of $530m
ICICI Bank and Intuit 'Money Manager'
It is an online personal finance management solution which helps banking customers understand their spending habits and organise their finances by providing them with details of all their ICICI Bank accounts on a single platform.
ICBC implements market risk management system
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the first Chinese bank to implement its independently developed global market risk management system in the bank. According to the bank, its market risk management system has three large databases for parameter data, transaction data and market data.
SG Private Banking strengthens Asian management team
Alex Fung is chairman of the new Societe Generale Private Banking Asia-Pacific committee, in addition to his role as CEO of Societe Generale Private Banking (Hong Kong). The other members of the strategy committee are: Olivier Gougeon, regional CEO of Societe Generale Private Banking (Asia-Pacific); Hsiao-Yun Lee, CEO of Societe Generale Private Banking (China); and Bruno Lebre, a member of Societe Generale Private Bankings global executive...
Nokia extends Mobile Money service to Union Bank in India
Union Bank Money powered by Nokia has been launched by the Union Bank of India (UBI) and Nokia. It is a mobile-to-mobile cash transfer service which allows any mobile phone user on any network to shop, pay utility bills and top-up prepaid cards using only a phone
Western Union unveils FX payment service
Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business clients can now make payments from their smartphones using a new foreign-exchange (FX) payment service introduced by Western Union. Western Union said the mobile-friendly payment service is now available in countries where the company currently offers online payment and FX services through its business solutions division, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France and Australia.
Khalifa Fund selects ADIB to help SMEs
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has selected Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) to provide financial services for the Funds clients through ADIBs branch network.
Experian launches 'Hunter' service in India
Experian, an information services company, has launched its fraud prevention service Hunter in India to help combat growing application fraud epidemic. According to Experian, the most effective strategy is to prevent the fraud at the point of application; Hunter achieves this without affecting customer service levels and turnaround times.
Central Bank to open branch in Bahrain
Canara Bank has been granted a licence by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to open a wholesale bank branch in Bahrain. Canara Bank, 73% owned by Government of India, is the third-largest public sector bank in India (in terms of domestic business)
Citi enhances Worldlink Payment Services for RMB payments
Citi has announced its global transaction service has enhanced its WorldLink Payment Services capability in making payments in Chinese Renminbi (RMB). This allows for a significant reduction in settlement time from more than a week to two days.
Australian government targets credit card fees
The Australian government is planning to strengthen banking sector rules, scrapping over-the-limit fees on credit cards and preventing consumers from exceeding credit limits by more than 10%. Under the proposed changes, banks would be forced to allocate card repayments to high-interest debts first and include a summary of account features in credit card applications They will also have to provide mortgage customers with a fact sheet that will...
Banks must adapt to changes in payment industry, report says
According to Global Payments 2011: Winning After the Storm, a new report by the Boston Consulting Group, major banks must adapt to sweeping changes in the payments industry in order to reverse revenue and profit declines and chart a course to sustainable growth.
National Australia Bank enters China market
National Australia Bank has made tentative steps to expanding into China by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with funds giant China Huarong Asset Management Company (CHAMC). NABs move follows more aggressive steps into China by ANZ and Commonwealth Bank whereby both have direct investments in regional banks.
Nomura to sell Tsubaki Nakashima stake
Nomura Principal Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nomura Holdings, has agreed to sell its 96.56% stake in Tsubaki Nakashima to asset manager The Carlyle Group Tsubaki Nakashima manufactures and sells precision balls and precision processing balls for bearings, sending screws, linear guideways, positioning tables and general industry machinery.
Asia-Pacific shoppers using overseas websites
According to the 2010 Visa eCommerce Consumer Monitor, one in three (32%) of the 3,156 people surveyed from mainland China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand said they had shopped on overseas websites in the past 12 months. Sixty-nine% of those who had shopped on an overseas site before said they had done so because the products and services they wanted were not available locally while 34% said it was because they felt these...
RFID tags for high-value Stanchart customers
When a premium customer holding an RFID tag enters the premises, his name and basic profile appear on the screens of both the relationship manager and the branch manager who can then greet the customer personally.
Amex in credit card tie-up with IOB
The India branch of American Express Banking Corp has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chennai-based public sector bank, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), to provide its credit card services through the latters distribution network. IOB will distribute the co-branded platinum and gold charge credit cards of American Express to its premium and high-end clients The co-branded card will bear the logo of both IOB and American Express and would...
AMP gets court approval for Axa
All regulatory, shareholder and court approvals have been received and the merger of AMP with Axa Asia Pacific Holdings (Axa APH) Australian and New Zealand business becomes effective on 30 March 2011. AMP, together with France's Axa SA, launched the offer to buy Axa APH last November after protracted negotiations between the two parties and rival bidder National Australia Bank. Axa APH shareholders will be offered 0.73 AMP shares and a cash...
Mobile top-up to be provided to Philippines
MoneyGram International and Iris Wireless have agreed to provide global prepaid mobile top-up services that will make it easier for Filipinos living in US to stay connected with friends and family in the Philippines. MoneyGram will provide the service for US consumers who want to re-load the mobile phone minutes of individuals in the Philippines who use Iris Wireless partner Globe Telecom as their service provider. International mobile top-up,...
SVB Financial and SPD Bank form bank in China
Santa Clara-based Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank have confirmed that they will form a joint venture bank in China. Ken Wilcox, who joined SVB Financial Group in 1990 and became president and CEO a decade later, will be chairman of Silicon Valley Bank and focus exclusively on the lenders presence and expansion in China. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Silicon Valley...
First money transfer kiosk launched in Vietnam
MoneyGram International has launched Vietnams first money transfer kiosk with DongA Bank in Ho Chi Minh City. According to Remas Ho, regional director of Asia, MoneyGram and its agents in Vietnam are working together to provide consumers with fast, reliable and convenient money transfer solutions. A key strength for MoneyGram is the group of financial institutions in network which provides customers with locations countrywide, home delivery...
SunGard launches regulatory and risk consulting practice
SunGard has launched a regulatory and risk consulting practice as part of its wealth management global services to help customers increase transparency, improve efficiencies and mitigate risk. According to SunGard, the regulatory and risk practice will help organisations analyse business practices, staff competencies, technology platforms and third party arrangements to assess readiness and address gaps within compliance and risk programs, and...
KFH-Bahrain launches free apps
Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain) has launched free iPhone and BlackBerry applications, available for all users who will benefit from a range of useful services, including finance and Baytik Ijara calculators, news, locations of Baytik Ijara merchants, ATMs and branches. Paul Mercer, KFH-Bahrain executive manager, said the new application is in line with the banks vision of making the experience with KFH-Bahrain as simple as possible...
HSBC China issues credit risk mitigation warrant
HSBC China is to be the first foreign bank in China to issue a credit risk mitigation warrant. In November, China introduced credit risk mitigation instruments to assist onshore institutional investors in managing credit default risks These included both the warrants, which are standardised and transferrable on the market, and the credit risk mitigation agreements, which are non-tradable bilateral agreements between two parties.
Visa introduces rapid P2P payments
Visa Inc has introduced a new generation of personal payment services on Visa cards that will allowms of customers to send and receive funds within minutes both internationally and domestically.
SBI targets unbanked villages by March 2012
State Bank of India (SBI) is targeting representation in 12,421 unbanked villages by March 2012, as it ramps up implementation of its financial inclusion plan. SBI said that it had provided basic banking services to 2,012 villages with populations of at least 2,000 by the end of January and aims to cover more than 5,000 villages by the end of March.
Vijaya Bank remittance service for NRIs
Indias Vijaya Bank has partnered with digital payment software provider TimesofMoney in a bid to offer an online remittance platform to its migrant workers around the world. The deal is part of Vijaya Banks strategy to strengthen its relationships with its customers who are non-residents of India (NRIs). Using the banks website, the NRIs will be able to transfer money online from 22 countries using TimesofMoneys branded remittance service.
Korean banks bid for troubled Samwha
Three South Korean banks are eyeing up troubled Samwha Mutual Savings Bank (Samwha), which was suspended from operating because it did not meet regulatory capital requirement levels. Woori Financial Group, Hana Financial Group and Shinhan Bank have all reportedly submitted their letters of intention to bid for Samwha, according to the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC). The KDIC suspended Samwha Mutual Savings Banks operations for six...
MasterCard acquires Travelex prepaid programme
Under the terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2011, MasterCard has agreed to provide programme management services for the Travelex Cash Passport prepaid card, which is sold throughout Travelexs stores and online channels. Travelex CEO Peter Jackson said: "The sale of the CPM will allow us to accelerate our investment plans, particularly in higher growth regions such as Asia and South America, and in the...
CIMB Thai agrees Thai Life Insurance bancassurance deal
CIMB Thai bank (CIMBT) has agreed a ten-year bancassurance deal with Thai Life Insurance to offer insurance policies via the banks multi-channel banking services. CIMBT will offer Thai Life Insurances services and policies in the banks branches, ATMs, online banking and mobile banking channels. The deal is an opportunity for CIMBT, a subsidiary of CIMB Group, to expand its bancassurance business, the bank said.
UBP applies for Singapore licence
Union Bancaire Prive (UBP) has applied for a banking licence in Singapore as part of its strategy to grow its business in Asia. The Swiss private bank seeks approval for a merchant banking licence to extend its current advisory presence, allowing it to book private and institutional clients across Asia. UBPs chief executive Michel Longhini said the merchant banking licence for the regional headquarters in Singapore will ensure a complete...
Korean bank Hana to increase China presence
South Koreas fourth largest lender by assets, Hana Financial Group (Hana), has announced it is collaborating with China Merchant Bank (CMB) to strengthen its business in China. A statement issued by Hana said that the co-operation agreement was part of the banks strategy to grow global sales. The partnership with Chinas sixth largest bank by assets will cover all areas, including retail banking, with a particular focus on growing Hanas credit...
French lender BPCE Asia and Africa move
Frances BPCE, created by the merger of Banques Populaires and Caisse dEspargne in 2009, is to expand in Africa and East Asia through organic and inorganic growth. The bank is shifting its retail banking business focus on emerging markets as higher capital and liquidity reserves required under Basel III are straining its domestic retail banking operations. The chief executive Francois Perol said that the banking sectors in Western and Central...
Gemalto launches new NFC trial in Japan
Digital security software provider Gemalto has joined forces with Japanese mobile operator Softbank Mobile to launch a mobile contactless pilot in Japan, which allows customers the choice to pay via different credit card accounts. Softbank Mobile customers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for goods and services in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and theatres
HSBC joins Dubai Trade's Rosoom
HSBC is set to join forces with the online portal and trade facilitator of Dubai World, offering its direct debit services to Dubai Trade customers through the centralised e-payment gateway Rosoom. According to Middle Eastern website ameinfo.com, the agreement will allow Dubais trade community access to their HSBC accounts online and give them the ability to carry out transactions with terminal operators DP World, Jafza and DMCC.
RBI restricts PayPal services in India
In a bid to comply with the new rules laid out by the RBI regarding the processing and settlement of export-related transfers via online gateways, Dickson Seow of PayPals corporate communications team confirmed in a statement on the company website that PayPal will be altering its Indian services.
South Korea's ailing savings banks to tap emergency funds
The South Korean government is to consolidate individual emergency funds set up by the countrys commercial, investment and savings banks, insurers and brokerages to insure against potential bankruptcy of savings banks. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced that it wants to generate KRW20trn ($17.9bn) for the consolidated fund to prepare for potential market instability and avoid excessive deposit withdrawal.
ICBC bids for US-based Bank of East Asia
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the worlds largest lender by market cap, has become the first Chinese bank to acquire a US-based retail bank, Bank of East Asia. ICBC will pay about $140m for an 80% stake in Hong Kong-headquartered Bank of East Asias US subsidiary, and acquire 13 branches in New York and California
HSBC continues Asia expansion in Vietnam
HSBC continues to expand in Asia and has opened two branches in southern Vietnam. The bank said that one of the branches, based in the city of Dong Nai, was the first branch in the city to be operated completely by a foreign lender.
Citi rolls smart banking branches in Hangzhou
Citibank continues to roll out more smart banking branches in its key markets and has added the Chinese city of Hangzhou to its list of cities with the state-of-the-art branches. The chief executive of Citis China business, Andrew Au, said that business in China was "performing strongly" and that the bank would continue to expand in the country.
Maybank introduces 2-for-1 credit card
Malaysia-based Maybank is aiming to attract half a million new credit card customers by the end of 2011 with a new, two-for-one product: Maybankard 2 Cards. Maybank is offering two credit cards one issued by American Express, the other by MasterCard with a single application. The offer is part of the banks strategy to grow credit cards issuance by 20% by the end of June, although it did not disclose how many cardholders were signed up with...
RBI backs local incorporation for foreign banks
A discussion paper from the Reserve Bank of India has concluded that local incorporation for international banks provides more effective control in any future banking crisis. To encourage lenders to operate wholly owned subsidiaries instead of operating India-based branches of a foreign bank the government proposes to exempt conversions to a local subsidiary from capital gains tax.
ANZ set to upgrade website
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has announced that it will be spending $100m to improve the functionality of its online platform. The revamp of the banks online offering is an aggressive initiative to create and generate more online sales, the bank said. ANZs chief executive Mike Smith has mentioned upgrading the online platform since he came into the office in 2007.
ICBC makes push into Singapore
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank by market capitalisation worldwide, has applied for a full banking licence in Singapore. If ICBC gets the approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, it could set up branches and ATMs across 25 locations across the country and become the first Chinese bank with a full banking licence in the country.
DOCOMO and KT unveil cross-border NFC
Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO and South Korean telco KT Corporation have announced that they are working together to develop cross-border near field communication (NFC) services. The two companies are looking to incorporate NFC into their respective devices, networks and billing platforms to facilitate payments between Japan and South Korea. DOCOMO is also working with a number of companies including Visa Inc, electronics manufacturer...
OCBC seeks retail growth in Malaysia
Singapore-based OCBC Bank is looking to grow its retail banking business in Malaysia and generate 40% of country revenue from its retail unit by 2014. The director and chief executive of OCBC Bank Malaysia, Jeffrey Chew, told local media that the bank saw "tremendous opportunity to grow the consumer business".
ICICI, SBI ink mobile banking deals
State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI, Indias largest public and private sector banks respectively, have formed partnerships with two of the countrys major telecoms firms to boost their mobile banking services. In a statement, Vodafone Essar said it would work with ICICI to offer electronic payments while Bharti and SBI will provide money transfer and other m-banking services.
Mobile money services to come to Bangladesh
A mobile-money venture aimed at bringing financial inclusion to unbanked Bangladeshi consumers is under development, thanks to a $10m grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Consulting firm ShoreBank International has teamed up with Bangladeshs BRAC Bank and financing agent Money in Motion to launch mobile money initiative, bKash. The parties plan to build a highly scalable m-banking platform and provide services that will allow low...
Switching costs stops competition, says NAB
In a submission to the Australian senate banking inquiry, NAB said that the committee ought to explore the barriers that stop consumers switching between lenders. The persistence of mortgage exit fees in Australia is a classic example of a traditional switching cost mitigating against competition and better outcomes for consumers," said an NAB spokesperson
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group eyes expansion in Asia
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japans second largest bank by market value, will expand its services to other Asian countries to attract affluent clients. The banks president Teisuke Kitayama said that the bank will primarily focus on retail banking services in China, Indonesia and Thailand. The bank, which already operates in Vietnam, said it is currently looking into opportunities in other Asian markets
Norkom helps Malaysia's RHB bank combat financial crime
RHB Bank, Malaysias fourth largest bank, has announced it will deploy anti-money laundering (AML) solutions from security software supplier, Norkom. Norkoms AML solution detects and prevents money laundering and terrorism finance by analysing all customer transactions. RHB Bank said it wants to stay up-to-date with enhanced AML software to be in line with international best practice.
Ready to take over
After a long and sometimes fractious process, VeriFone Systems stands poised to become the worlds largest terminal maker with its acquisition of Hypercom The news comes at the end of VeriFones most successful year to date in which it reached $1bn in sales
UBS sets up Asian UHNW family arm
UBS has established a regional unit for ultra high net worth (UHNW) clients across Asia Pacific The new unit will expand UBSs non-financial services, which include philanthropy, family advisory and wealth planning. The expansion will follow the launch of UBSs Global Family Office Group in September 2010.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ opens retail branch in HK
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) has opened its first retail banking branch in Hong Kong because of dreary business outlooks in its home market Japan. A spokesperson for the bank told Banking & Payments Asias sister publication Retail Banker International that the growing wealth in Hong Kong provided an attractive business outlook for the bank.
BMO boosts Asian wealth arm with LGM buy-out
BMO Financial Group is to acquire Hong Kong-based independent investment manager Lloyd George Management (LGM) to bolster its wealth management capabilities in Asia. The boutique asset manager, LGM, specialises in Asia and global emerging markets with a local presence in London, Singapore, Mumbai and Florida. The deal forms a key part in BMOs Greater China strategy which centres on the expansion of portfolio management in the area, said BMO...
OCBC targets older credit card customers in Singapore
It is exploiting what it considers to be a gap in the market after banks in Singapore came under public scrutiny for allegedly discriminating credit card applications by senior people because they had no fixed monthly income. The bank placed an advertisement in The Strait Times with the slogan: "Finally, a bank that believes good credit should grow with age
DBS to double Chinese unit, RBS bows out
South-East Asias largest lender, DBS, is to expand its China-based retail branch network to 50 outlets by 2013 Its growth plans will be aided by the acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotlands (RBS) retail branches and customer base in three Chinese cities, Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. In terms of an agreement announced on 15 December, around 25,000 RBS customers in the three cities will be given the choice of transferring their accounts to DBS.
Private equity firm grabs control of Tong Yang Life
Korean conglomerate Tong Yang Group has turned its back on the countrys life insurance market, with the sale of its 46.5% stake in Tong Yang Life Insurance to Korean private equity firm Vogo Fund, for KRW900bn ($798m). According to Korean media reports, Tong Yang Groups sale of its stake in its life insurance unit forms part of a group restructuring aimed at reducing debt in its construction unit, Tong Yang Major.
TCS agrees $50m deal with Deutsche Bank
India-headquartered Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has signed one of the years biggest banking IT deals an agreement worth more than an estimated $50m to supply Deutsche Banks Global Transaction Banking (GTB) unit with a new core banking system. Klaus Thoma of Deutsche Bank told BPAs sister publication Retail Banker International that, in the majority of countries, TCS BaNCS software will replace ageing in-house legacy systems and will take...
Western Union expands remittance service
Remittance specialist Western Union is expanding its Account-Based Money Transfer (ABMT) service to customers in China and Romania. Through partnerships forged with Chinas Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) and Romanias Banca Transilvania, account-holders from both institutions will gain access to services previously not seen in both markets. Using the service, SPD Bank account holders will now be able to send and receive funds...
More than 8m ditch credit cards in the US
TransUnion said the de-leveraging is due in part to "charge-offs in the higher risk segments of the population, more conservative spending in the low-risk segments, and significant efforts by consumers across the board to maintain the health of their credit card relationships as a financial cushion".
Korean card marketing under review
Koreas Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is to investigate the countrys five independent credit card issuers marketing activity The FSS said on 11 January that it will be looking into alleged excessive marketing spend by Shinhan, Hyundai, Hana SK, Samsung and Lotte. According to the FSS, marketing spend at the card issuers as a proportion of total profits rose to almost 25% in the third quarter of 2010.
Indian life insurer takes complaints mobile
In an initiative aimed at improving customer relations, India insurer SBI Life has launched SMS SOLVE a service that will enable customers to submit grievances to the insurer using a short message service (SMS). When a grievance SMS is received by SBI Life, the customers mobile number, date and time of the message is automatically registered at SBI Lifes central processing centre.
Citi to open more branches in Thailand
Citibanks unit in Thailand is to ramp up its distribution footprint following the Thai governments move to relax the countrys restrictive banking regulations. The government has previously imposed severe restrictions on the size of foreign lenders branch networks In early January, the government said that foreign bank will be allowed to open two additional branches.
M-banking proves popular in Hong Kong
More than a third of Hong Kong consumers who own a smartphone are conducting m-banking, according to a recent study. The Mobile Banking Perception Study conducted by research company Synovate last month found four% of Hong Kong respondents are currently using m-banking. We anticipate with more people owning smartphones there will be more people adopting mobile banking," said Cindy Chan, associate director of research for Synovate in Hong Kong.
Korean Samwha Mutual Savings Bank forced to suspend business
The South Korean government has suspended Samwha Mutual Savings Banks operations for six months after the bank failed to meet regulatory capital requirement levels The bank faces being put up for auction if it fails to restore the required capital strength set out by the Korean Financial Service Commission.
SBI grows international retail lending
State Bank of India (SBI), the countrys largest lender, is planning to raise up to $2bn to grow its international retail lending book. To date, SBIs overseas operations have been focused on wholesale banking, but the bank is now eyeing retail mortgage and auto loan products in countries such as the UK and the US In the past year, SBI has built up a retail lending book of $50m in Singapore in a pilot project.
ICBC to get licence to operate in Pakistan
Pakistan government is poised to approve an application by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to start operating in the country, a move that Islamabad hopes will herald closer commercial ties with Beijing. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Shahid Hafeez Kardar said the central bank would grant the ICBC, Chinas biggest bank, a licence to open a branch in Pakistan.
Singapore, Indonesia sign MoU on banking
Bank Indonesia and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have signed a MoU on cross border banking supervision. The MoU between the two authorities was signed by Bank Indonesia governor Darmin Nasution and MAS managing director Heng Swee Keat in Bali.
Yes Bank signs pact with Shinsei Bank
Yes Bank and Shinsei Bank of Japan have signed an agreement to advise companies on cross-border deals between the two nations. According to a statement released by Yes Bank, the tie-up will enable both banks to leverage their combined expertise, strong local knowledge and excellent corporate relationships to jointly pursue M&As, JVs and merchant banking opportunities.
MetLife aims at focus in Japanese life market
In a rationalisation of its operations in Japans life insurance market, US insurer MetLife has agreed to sell its 49% stake in Mitsui Sumitomo MetLife Insurance to its joint venture partner, MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, for 22.5bn ($275m). MetLife International Business executive vice-president Eugene Marks said: "This transaction also allows MetLife in Japan to concentrate on leveraging our strong market position, as a result of the...
Thurston HK return as HSBC rejigs top management
A major shake-up of the top management at HSBC will see the boss of its UK retail bank Paul Thurston return to Hong Kong to run the entire groups retail and wealth management business. Thurston new position will take effect from 1 March 2011 and he will have responsibility for directing all aspects of HSBCs retail banking business globally, including the personal financial services and insurance businesses.
CCB (Asia) private banking service
China Construction Bank (Asia) (CCB (Asia)), the worlds largest lender by market value, marked its entry into the private banking industry with the launch of CCB Private Bank earlier this month. The private banking services are designed to meet the need for premium cross-border wealth management and RMB investments The private banking arm intends to leverage on the strength of its parent bank China Construction Bank in Mainland China and its...
Amex signs deal with China UnionPay
According to an Amex statement, the MoU will bring the issuer together with UnionPay "to explore the expansion of their current co-operative activities." The current partnership allows Amex cards to run on China UnionPays network but both companies will now look to work together to develop "new areas of co-operation within China and in markets outside of China".
Citigroup to hire hundreds in Singapore
Citigroup plans to expand its presence in Singapore hiring a few hundred people in each year for next 2-3 years, further cementing its position as the city-states largest financial sector employer. Singapore already has the largest employee base for Citi in the Asia-Pacific region, exceeding the number employed in both Hong Kong and Tokyo.
MasterCard reports strong growth in Q3
MasterCard has witnessed strong growth in its premium card segment in Asia pacific, Middle East and Africa. For the quarter ending 30 September 2010, the Mastercard recorded 22% year-on-year increase in gross dollar volume for its premium credit and charge programmes in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.
BBVA Indian credit card business JV
Spanish-lender BBVA has formed a joint venture with Bank of Baroda, an Indian bank, to establish a credit card business in India. The venture is the latest in BBVA strategy to enter new and emerging markets through building relationships with regional institutions. Bank of Baroda is a state-owned bank in India with more than 36m customers and has 3100 branches across the country.
China and Taiwan forge landmark pact
Signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between China and Taiwan on 29 June 2010 has had a sequel. The China Insurance Regulator Commission (CIRC) has selected Xiamen, capital of Chinas Fujian province, as the pilot city to promote cooperation between the two countries insurance industries. The ECFA is viewed as the most significant agreement between China and Taiwan since the two countries split after the Chinese Civil...
GIC doubles stake in CICC, becomes second-biggest investor
Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) has more than doubled its stake in China International Capital Corp (CICC), making it the second-largest shareholder of the first Sino-foreign investment bank. GIC, which manages over $100bn of Singapores reserves, increased its stake in CICC, the top-ranked underwriter of share sales in China, to more than 16.35% from 7.35%
Leverage plays haunt private banks
A string of court cases worldwide, ranging from disputes about margin calls to one of the first hearings in the Dubai International Financial Centre, throws light on how speculative investments became. Highly-leveraged investments, which clients entered through their private banks during the boom years up to 2008, are coming back to haunt their financial advisers, in the form of a steady stream of multi-million dollar lawsuits around the world.
DBS, StarHub launches NFC trial in Singapore
Mobile network operator StarHub, transport card issuer EZ-Link and DBS Bank launched an NFC pilot this month, in collaboration with MasterCard, with plans to commercially launch the service towards the end of 2011. For the first time in Singapore, the 1,000 DBS Bank customers who subscribed to the StarHub mobile plans will be able to enjoy the NFC Mobile Payment Solution trial for everyday mobile payments. With the rapidly expanding use of...
First Indian-origin bank in Malaysia
Three Indian public sector banks Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Andhra Bank will together launch a new bank, to be named India International Bank, in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2011.
Apps security headache for US banks
US banks stand accused of being "sloppy" as they scramble to rush out updates to fix security flaws found in Apple and Android m-banking applications. The accusation comes from Andrew Hoog, chief investigative officer at viaForensic, a Chicago-based computer and mobile security firm that discovered the problems The findings show that Bank of America (BofA), JPMorgan Chase, TD Ameritrade and PayPal customers to be affected
Bank Indonesia to strengthen ties with other Asian banks
Bank Indonesia is keen on strengthening cross-border collaboration with a few neighbouring countries to improve the stability of the financial system in Southeast Asia. We must cooperate with the central banks in the country where the bank is originally from," said Muliaman at a press conference at the opening of the South East Asian Central Banks Centre (Seacen) in Bali.
Credit Suisse latest to launch family office in Singapore
Credit Suisse has launched its first family office hub in Singapore for ultra high net worth (UHNW) clients with at least $100m in investible assets. The Swiss private bank is the latest wealth manager to launch a dedicated family office service. The Singapore hub will provide its UHNWs with family office infrastructure, networking and back and middle office support, the bank said.
Citi's Asia CEO to relocate to Singapore
Citigroups CEO for Asia Shirish Apte is moving to Singapore from Hong Kong to oversee the banks work in the South Asian region. This will include Australia, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation while Steve Bird, Citis other co-CEO for the region will remain in Hong Kong to focus on the banks operations in the likes of China, Japan and Hong Kong
OCBC business debit card for Singapore
The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank), in partnership with MasterCard, has launched the OCBC Business Card, a platinum debit card that can be customised and branded by businesses The card is aimed at SMEs and enables companies to use debit cards as a way of increasing brand recognition when paying for goods and services. The service has been launched in Singapore, where an OCBC Bank survey found more than 50% of SME customers...
BoC opens its first branch in Cambodia
Bank of China has opened its first branch in Cambodia. "From now on, customer can open bank accounts and do business at the bank, but we havent decided the date of the grand opening yet," said Bank of Chinas head of corporate business department, Yang Yun Xia.
Visa payments volume in Asia-Pacific up 12%
Visa recorded a growth of 12% YoY in payments volume generated on all Visa cards across Asia Pacific for the 12 months ended 30 September 2010
Japan to allow JBIC lending to rich nations
Japans government will submit a bill to parliament next year to allow the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to finance trade and mergers in developed countries, the finance minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Contactless technology launched in Australia
Visa and MasterCard have introduced contactless technology into the Australian market for the first time, teaming up with fast food outlet McDonalds and retailer 7-Eleven. This will allow the fourm Australians who already possess a contactless-enabled MasterCard payment card to use its PayPass application in 7-Eleven stores. Similarly, Visas payWave contactless card allows McDonalds customers across the country to simply wave and go when...
HSBC to double salaries
The 100 per cent rise for hundreds of top bankers across HSBCs global banking and markets (GBM) operations, including workers in the financial centres of London, Hong Kong and New York, will take place with immediate effect. HSBC could use the move to avoid political tension and negative publicity over large bonuses, while simultaneously using the salary hike to placate bankers.
Taiwanese banks raise interest rates
Banks in Taiwan have recently raised deposit interest rates to keep customers, as the Taiwan governments guarantee of full bank deposits will expire in less than three months Banks that have lifted the one-year term deposit interest rate to 1.3% include the Development Bank of Singapore, Far Eastern International Bank, Cosmos Bank, and Sunny Bank.
Cambodian Public Bank unit sets up securities business
CampuBank Securities has obtained a securities company licence from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, which enables it to carry out securities underwriting business, securities dealing business, securities brokerage business and investment advisory business in Cambodia.
Foreign banks under fire in South Korea
Hundreds of South Koreas small and mid-sized exporters have threatened to boycott a number of significant foreign-owned banks after they suffered heavy losses from currency derivative investments. The exporters held a rally in front of Citibanks Korean headquarters in Seoul, demanding the US bank pull out of the country The group of 242 companies accused a number of foreign banks for failing to fully brief them of the potential risks of...
MasterCard unveils interactive credit card
MasterCard has joined forces with Taiwans Bank SinoPac to unveil the first interactive credit card in a bid to drive consumers towards mobile payments. A SinoPac display card (SPDC) cardholder can tap a button on the credit card revealing a six-digit screen in the corner which serves as a one-time password MasterCard claims the embedded technology provides better security and convenience for the cardholder and eliminates the need to wait for a...
CIMB gets 'go-ahead' for Cambodia
CIMB Group, Malaysias second-largest banking group by assets, has obtained the approval of Cambodias central bank to offer banking services in the country. With its entry in the Cambodian banking industry, CIMB now has presence in 8 out of the 10 countries in Asean
Indian PM asks for Islamic banking enquiry
Indias Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the Reserve Bank to look into Islamic banking practices in Malaysia, amid pressure on the central bank to introduce such a system in India.
World Bank and Singapore launch centre of excellence
World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Singapore's Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam joined senior public and private sector leaders from Asia at the annual World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit 2010 to launch an Infrastructure Finance Centre of Excellence (IFCOE).
GSMA pulls funding for Cambodian mobile money service
The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) is reported to have pulled funding for a mobile money transfer service in Cambodia, following concerns the service was not complying with local regulations. Local mobile network, Mobitel launched the mobile money service without a licence from the Central Bank, although it has claimed that it does not need any licences for its service.
Axis Bank, Enam strike $455m deal
Axis Bank has acquired Enam Securities in what may be Indias second-largest deal between investment banks and securities firms. Axis Bank, Indias top-ranked manager of debt sales, plans to bolster its equity underwritings by merging the unit with Enam Securities in a transaction valued at about INR20.7bn ($455m). The all-stock transaction will see unlisted Enams shareholders take a 3.3% stake in Axis, Indias third-largest private sector lender...
ANZ Bank to inject CNY1.65bn into Shanghai lender
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, the third-largest lender in Australia, will invest an additional CNY1.65bn ($248m) in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank (SCRB), bringing its stake from 19.9% to 20%, the maximum shareholding allowed by Chinese regulators for foreign lender. ANZ said that the new investment, which is part of the Shanghai lenders fundraising plans, will help strengthen the cooperation between the two lenders and expand its...
SBI targets bank acquisition in Indonesia
State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to acquire a second bank in Indonesia The acquisition is in its final stages and the bank also plans to set up a subsidiary in Australia.
Western Union adds mobile to SBI deal
Remittance specialist Western Union has extended its partnership with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer money transfers via mobile phones SBIs four million online customers will be able to use the service to route remittances from Western Union agent locations into their bank accounts
ANZ gets green light for Indian branch
ANZ Banking Group has been granted approval by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a foreign banking licence, allowing the firm to open a branch in Mumbai during the first half of 2011. The licence was granted after ANZ confirmed the location of the branch in the city's extended business district of Worli-Prabhadevi.
Indian markets regulator bars some foreign investors
Indias capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred foreign institutional investors, including ABN Amro Bank, after they failed to comply with disclosure rules. SEBI said 197 overseas investors and 342 sub-accounts wont be permitted to take fresh positions in the cash and derivatives markets, according to a statement posted on SEBIs website
Angkasa to launch Islamic Bank
Islamic Cooperative Bank of Malaysia (ICBM), the first bank to be owned by Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia (Angkasa), is awaiting the green-light from the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia to start operations. Angkasa president Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Baharum said that 560 credit cooperatives with almost fourm members and several non-credit based cooperatives had become associate members for the setting up of ICBM. He said ICBM was...
Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance forays into group business
Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, a joint venture between Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings, said it has started new services to serve group business in India. The company said after establishing itself in the retail business, it has now launched a new channel-group business targeted at the corporate segment. The launch of this business will enable the company to reach out to...
Co-op Bank overtakes Citi in Taiwan
Taiwans Cooperative Bank overtook banking giant Citi on average credit card spending per customer over the summer. Average spending for cards issued by Cooperative Bank, Taiwans largest bank in terms of branches, totalled TW$275.97 ($8.92) per customer in August TW$5.31 more than spending on Citibank Taiwans credit cards.
ICBC eyeing takeover of South Korean bank
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is considering taking over South Koreas Kwangju Bank, as the worlds largest bank by market value moves to expand overseas. News reports cited financial industry sources as saying ICBC had expressed an intention to bid for the regional bank based in the south-western city of Kwangju. Kwangju Bank has assets of KRW17.9trn ($15.7bn) and is a subsidiary of Woori Financial Holdings, South Koreas largest...
DBS aims to have 50 outlets in China
DBS Bank Ltd aims to have 50 outlets in China in the next three to fours years, from the current 16 units. The Chinese market is expected to contribute between 5% and 10% of our business in 5-10 years, from the current 2-3%," said Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank and its parent firm DBS Group Holdings, Singapore.
China allows foreign institutions to open RMB accounts
The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) has released regulations to allow foreign institutions to open cross-border CNY-settlement accounts at locally registered banks from 1 October According to the rules published on the PBOCs website, an overseas institution can choose either a domestic bank or a local unit of a foreign bank to open a CNY-settlement account.
Travelex joins with MasterCard and Bank of China for 'passport'
Travelex has launched an electronic travelers cheque, Cash Passport MasterCard, in collaboration with the Bank of China (BOC) and MasterCard Cash Passport MasterCard cards can be used at more than 30m MasterCard acceptance locations including over 1m ATMs with MasterCard logo for local currency withdrawals overseas.
Visa Ends DCC Moratorium
Visa has ended its moratorium on Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) with immediate effect, reports Planet Payment, a leading international multi-currency payment and data processor. As a result, Planet Payments acquirer customers will be able to activate new accounts and new merchant locations for DCC on both Visa and MasterCard in all regions. Planet Payment chairman Philip Beck said: "We believe this positive development will facilitate our...
World's first MasterCard Display credit card unveiled
MasterCard Worldwide, in conjunction with Bank SinoPac in Taiwan, unveiled the worlds first MasterCard display credit card, the SinoPac Display Card. Bank SinoPac president and chief executive of channel marketing Desmond Jiang said: "Bank SinoPac is honoured to be the first bank in the world to adopt this innovative technology with a display card in the credit card sector.
MasterCard extends processing footprint
MasterCard Worldwide has taken 12.5% stake in ElectraCard Services (ECS), an India-based leading provider of software solutions for credit and payments management. The investment in ECS bolsters MasterCards global processing strategy by further extending MasterCards platform and product offerings in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Processing is a fundamental component of our corporate strategy," said MasterCard Worldwide chief technology...
Visa enables 'Wave to Pay' in NY and LA
Visa is working with transit agencies in California, New York and New Jersey to enable a faster, more convenient payment experience for riders of mass transit systems The programmes in New York and Los Angeles are part of a global initiative bringing the convenience of Visa digital currency to commuters in the worlds most populous areas, including Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore, London and Paris.
ANZ plans operations centre in Chengdu
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) will establish a new Chinese-language operations centre in Chengdu to support its business growth in China. ANZ chief executive officer Mike Smith said: "In the past three years we have made significant progress in building our business in China
AIF set to open Malaysia's first risk management centre
The Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) is launching Malaysias first risk management centre dedicated to enhancing the quality and spectrum of risk management training and new thinking in applied risk management. The AIF risk management centre is being established in recognition of the increasing demand for professional training and development of talent possessing the skills to manage challenges in risk management.
US personal finances getting worse
Discover Financial Services US Spending Monitor, a monthly spending index, found 24% of consumers described their finances as "poor", a 3%age point increase on the previous month. Financial uncertainty has consumers pretty much adopting a hold-the-line attitude toward their spending," said Discover senior vice-president of brand and product management Julie Loeger
UK public transport card in pipeline
British Under-Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker said he has asked officials to draw up plans to introduce the cards based on Transport for Londons (TfL) Oyster card scheme in order to encourage use of buses, trains and trams. Ultimately, the goal would be to allow seamless travel on one ticket throughout the country, although Baker has accepted that including long-distance rail journeys in the scheme may be complicated.
KFH Launches Western Union money transfer
Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad has signed an agreement with Western Union to offer the Western Union Money Transfer service in Malaysia. KFHMB chief executive officer Puan Jamelah Jamaluddin said: "We aim to boost KFHMBs fee based income, in line with the banks strategic plan to grow its retail business to compliment its other business offerings
Thai banking fees revised
The central bank of Thailand has finalised the issue of commercial banks transaction fees and the new rates will be implemented after the New Year. Banks in Thailand say they will each lose around 100m baht in revenue a year and it will take them a couple of years to be able to offset this loss. However, Bank of Thailand believes that, even though the new transaction fees will cut into banks profits, they will benefit in the long term from the...
Citi to expand SE Asia business
The group had opened 27 branches in Asia-Pacific region in the first half of 2010, taking its total to 710
Goldman Sachs sells $2.25bn stake in China's largest bank
Goldman Sachs, the global investment banking and securities firm, has sold part of its stake worth $2.25bn in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the worlds largest bank by market value Goldman reduced its stake from 3.9% to 3% by selling 3.04bn shares, more than the 2.75bn it had originally planned to sell.
Bank of China issues first dual currency card
The Bank of Chinas Manila branch has issued its first Unionpay dual currency debit card in the Philippines to provide convenience for individual customers and facilitate the banks expansion. Deputy general manager of Bank of China head office Yao Hua said: "The development of the Bank of China Manila branch dual currency debit card was to meet the demands of the Chinese living in the Philippines and the business travellers who travel often to...
StanChart to expand SME Portfolio
Standard Chartered Bank plans to double the strength of the team of specialised relationship managers in India in the next three years, from 275 currently. India is the first market in the group to launch the strengthened SME Banking offering and will be followed by China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and UAR, shortly this year.
Think-tank questions private equity returns and firms' fees
A UK think-tank study says overall private equity (PE) returns over the past 30 years have been disappointing and raise questions about investors sophistication when choosing to invest in leveraged buy-outs. The findings, by former Morgan Stanley managing director Peter Morris, urged for more transparency around private equity performance The study, commissioned by UK economic think-tank Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, also...
Consumers turn to debit cards
A new study released by Javelin Strategy & Research noted that shoppers, wary of the economy, are increasingly shying away from credit cards, opting to use cash, checks or debit cards rather than to pay later on a credit card.
Bankers must serve women better
What banks need is a revolution like the automotive industry had: to finally understand that women not only sit in the cars but also choose, buy and drive them Women are feeling undervalued which is a problem when females control an estimated 27% of the worlds wealth equivalent to about $20trn.
Kuwait Finance House launches hajj service
Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFHMB), the first foreign Islamic bank in Malaysia, has launched the KFH Personal Financing-i Hajj and Umrah This product has been designed for Muslim customers to facilitate their pilgrimages to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The KFH Personal Financing-i Hajj and Umrah package offers attractive rates and financing options to cater to different needs.
Julius Baer plans to expand in Asia
Julius Baer, the leading Swiss private banking group, is planning to expand its capabilities in Asia by upgrading its Hong Kong presence to a booking centre, opening a new representative office in Shanghai, China and a trust company in Singapore. Julius Baer, which is developing its Asian investment capabilities further as a centre of excellence for the rest of the group, expects to develop Asia as second home market upon application and...
New remittance service from Axis Bank
It is the first bank in India to offer IMT to its customers and has partnered with Empays Payment Systems, the developers of this platform to offer this service.
Korean retailers increase China card acceptance
With visa procedures simplified for Chinese visitors since August, the volume of Chinese tourists in Korea has intensified this month Earlier visa restrictions had been blamed for curbing the market for Chinese visitors, with only 1.3m Chinese travelling to Korea out of the 47m who left China on overseas trips.
India looks to relax foreign bank ownership rules
A review of Indias bank ownership rules could provide an easier route to market for international private banks and wealth managers. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rule changes include offering a limited number of licences to new banks and could lead to the re-entry of large Indian industrial companies
Asians make most of mobile payments
According to technology research firm Gartner, the number of people using mobile phones to make payments is expected to rise 50% this year to nearly 109m with Asians leading the pack. There were 70.2m mobile payment users worldwide in 2009 and the number is expected to increase by 54.5% to 108.6m this year, Gartner said
Agribank recruits JCB merchants in Vietnam
Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) has started recruiting JCB credit card merchants in Vietnam based on the agreement signed last year between Agribank and JCB International (JCBI). Agribank will gradually implement JCB card acceptance for purchases at its existing 4,000 merchants and cash withdrawals through its 2,100 ATMs network and targets to complete the process by the end of 2010. The alliance of Agribank with...
Global prepaid market valued at $120.2bn
The total value of the branded prepaid card opportunity in the US is expected to surpass $440bn by 2017, nearly quadrupling its estimated value of $120.2bn in 2009, according to research. Boston Consulting Groups Prepaid Market Sizing Report, commissioned by MasterCard, indicates that future branded prepaid growth will be driven primarily by increases in the public sector and corporate payroll segments. By 2017, it is projected the US will...
PayPal, DBS Bank new payment solution
Through a first-of-its-kind collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region, PayPal and DBS Bank have launched a new payment solution that allows DBSPOSB customers in Singapore to use their bank accounts to fund their PayPal accounts and shop online with over eightm merchants worldwide in 190 markets and 24 currencies.
Bank of China International taps Hong Kong market
Bank of China International Limited (BOCIL) has launched private banking operations in Hong Kong using the Temenos T24 Model Bank, running on Microsoft. This will enable BOCIL to deliver a comprehensive suite of high-end wealth management services exclusively for affluent private banking clients with net assets of $1m and above. T24 will centralise BOCILs operations to deliver a 360-degree customer view, coupled with sophisticated, customer...
Aberdeen hones fixed income focus with QFII licence
Chinas Securities Regulatory Commission granted Aberdeen Asset Management a Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) licence allowing Aberdeen to invest in domestic Chinese securities. Aberdeen said it sought the licence to support its Singapore-based Asian fixed income team, which manages more than $5bn in assets The asset manager said it saw Chinas index share growing substantially in the years ahead as companies diversify their...
POSB unveils multi-card in Singapore
POSB, a subsidiary of Singapore-based DBS Group, has launched Multi-tude by POSB, a card which features both debit and credit functions, to help cardholders manage budget and offer flexibility of having a credit line in times of need.
ACI Worldwide, First Data forge relationship
ACI Worldwide has confirmed a new, multi-year global enterprise relationship with First Data Corporation to provide customers with payment and transaction processing services. Per the agreement, First Data will use ACIs payment solutions, including BASE24-eps, BASE24 and ACI Proactive Risk Manager, to offer a wide range of payment processing and fraud management solutions around the world
Visa launches luxury hotel collection
Visa has launched the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, giving Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders in Asia-Pacific exclusive access to unique benefits at a selected group of prestigious hotel properties throughout the world. The perks may include the best available rate, a room upgrade, VIP guest status, complimentary valet parking or internet access, a food and beverage voucher, complimentary continental breakfast, and late checkout...
Gen Y - opportunities and threats
According to latest research by Datamonitor, Generation Ys (aged 30 or younger) show strong preference for big banks, special offers and choice of transactionsavings account based on recommendation from others. Some 74% of consumers aged between 18 and 30 show their strongest preference toward four major banks for their savings and transaction accounts," says Datamonitor senior analyst Harry Senlitonga. Convenience of service such as access to...
Acleda Bank launches Unity m-banking
Leading Cambodian bank Acleda Bank has announced the release of its Unity mobile phone banking service. A virtual bank in your pocket, it provides a way to manage all daily banking transactions at any time and any place It communicates in both the English and Khmer languages and handles transactions in Khmer riels, US dollars and Thai baht, with other currencies to follow.
Hong Kong e-payment firm admits selling customer data
Octopus Holdings, the operator of a Hong Kong cashless payment system, has admitted to selling its customers personal data since January 2006 Octopus said it earned about HK$44m ($5.7m) over four-and-a-half years from the sharing of personal information with six business partners for marketing purposes. Octopus contactless payment cards are used widely by commuters of Hong Kongs underground trains operated by MTR, which incidentally owns 57.4%...
IDBI Bank to open 280 branches in 12 months
IDBI Bank, a public sector bank in India, plans to open 280 new branches across the country in the next 12 months to help increase its retail business. The expansion is part of the banks aim to double its client base to 10m customers over the next one year, expand its retail business and strengthen its branch network to a total of 1,000 branches by September 2011.
UBS slips to third, Deutsche surges
Deutsche Banks purchase of Sal Oppenheim has lifted it into the top five of the Global Index created by BPAs sister publication, Private Banker International (PBI). Improved first quarter figures for both Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch and UBS suggested the big players were returning to health
Kotak funds to siphon Japanese savings into India
Wealth manager Kotak Mahindra will use its tie-up with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) to create a bridge between wealthy Japanese savers and Indias capital-hungry fund industry. TV Raghunath, head of group strategy at Kotak Mahindra, said the idea is to build a bridge between the high savings, low yield economy in Japan and the high growth, high yield Indian economy.
Maybank Singapore opens new Islamic banking hub
Maybank Singapore has launched a new dedicated Islamic banking hub at GeylangSerai in Singapore, with a team of Sharia-compliant products specialists. The Sharia-compliant products offered through the Islamic banking hub include online savings account, iSAVvy Savings account-i, ATM access and a special dividend-on-dividend feature Other products include a Sharia-compliant two-in-one current and savings account known as PremierOne Account-i and...
Atos Origin muscles into India's payment market
Atos Origin has completed the acquisition of one of India's largest payment processing companies, Venture Infotek. Venture Infotek has a 35 per cent market share in its sector, with six of the top ten Indian banks on its customer list which includes ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Central Bank of India
GRGBanking Equipment leases ATMs
GRGBanking Equipment (Hong Kong) has signed a five-year agreement to supply 1,000 ATMs to an unnamed bank in the Middle East. According to company officials, the bank will lease the ATMs from a local partner of GRGBanking Equipment
Thanachart snaps up rival Siam City
Thanachart Bank, part-owned by Scotiabank, Canadas self-styled most international bank, is to pay $2.2bn for Siam City Bank to become the fifth-largest bank in Thailand by assets and branches. According to Scotiabank CEO Rick Waugh, they will target further international expansion.
Global HNW assets rise, bank profitability drops
Global private banking assets under management increased by a median of 17% to $16.5trn at the end of 2009, but overall private bank profitability dropped by a median of -35%, according to Scorpio Partnership. Its annual key performance indicator benchmark study, which surveyed 230 wealth management institutions, found while high net worth (HNW) assets had increased, net new money flows dropped by almost 60% from last year. The analysis...
China UnionPay, BOC Hong Kong launch cross-border autopay
Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK) and China UnionPay jointly launched brand new Dual currency credit card Shenzhen-Hong Kong cross-border autopay service to provide a secure, reliable, convenient and efficient cross-border payment service for customers who frequently travel between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
PayPal stand-alone unit in Japan
Online payment provider PayPal is to launch independently in Japan, the first time it has entered a market without the presence of parent company eBay, the auction website. It means PayPal will need to sign up merchants and consumers rather than rely on transactions through transactions made on the eBay website, a departure from its usual strategy.
ANZ Bank eyes Korea Exchange Bank
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is reviewing the finances of Korea Exchange Bank, the lender put up for sale by Lone Star funds, as it weighs expansion in Asia's fourth-largest economy
Bendigo Bank on acquisition hunt
The bank would make two residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) deals over the same period. Chief executive Michael Hirst said Bendigo Bank had a strong capital position, enabling it to look at transaction opportunities across the spectrum.
Mobile NFC services to launch in Thailand
Kasikornbank and telecommunications operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) have teamed up with digital security provider Gemalto to launch mobile near field communication (NFC) applications in Thailand. Starting this month, selected customers can collect their phone from Kasikornbank to enjoy mobile NFC services.
KFH Donates RM6.26m to flood victims
Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has pledged a donation of RM6.26m ($2m) to aid flood victims in Pakistan The effort represents part of the KFH corporate social responsibility programme. The donation will be channelled through the Kuwait Red Crescent Society
ANZ introduces 'first' floating rate home loan
ANZ announced the launch of several home loan products in Singapore, including a "first-of-its-kind" floating rate home loan that reduces the uncertainty for customers when choosing a loan. ANZ general manager, retail banking and wealth management for South and South-East Asia, Ajay Mathur, said: "The ANZ floating rate option reduces uncertainty for customers when choosing a home loan. Unlike the industry norm in Singapore, where the majority...
HSBC Selects Experian for data integration
HSBC has signed an enterprise deal with Experian, the global information services company, to integrate the bank's access to external data sources around the world and achieve global standardisation around risk management processes. Starting in Asia, HSBC will use Experian's Connect data integration software to enable access, consolidation and aggregation of data from multiple sources, including credit bureaux, and other third party data...
Clear2Pay seals South Korea m-payments deal
The development of the mobile payments industry will revolutionise the way consumers pay, according to Jean de Crane, COO of technology provider Clear2Pay. De Crane was speaking after Clear2Pay signed a deal in South Korea to provide the Korean Electric Testing Institute with three of its mobile payment test suite solutions. Korea is one of the most established mobile payments markets in the world, but there are signs there will be a...
iPhone comes to advisers' assistance
New applications for the Apple iPhone keep coming thick and fast, one of the latest being OmniLife, an application that enables advisers to provide clients with instant life insurance quotes on their phones. Developed by Australian technology vendor Omnium, Omni-Life provides access to quotes on 120 products from 13 life insurers: AIA, AMP, Axa, Asteron, Aviva, CommInsure, ING, MLC, Macquarie Life, MetLife, Suncorp, Tower and Zurich. Among its...
HDFC Bank goes rural
All kinds of loans including home loans, vehicle loans, tractor loans, agricultural loans, personal loans, gold loans and Kissan Gold cards were given to rural customers. Vehicle keys, cheques and cards were handed over to customers by HDFC Bank managing director Aditya Puri and Pralay Mondal, country head of retail assets and credit cards.
PayPal enhances mobile app for Android
PayPal Mobile is to roll out of the second version of its mobile payment app for Android handsets, which allows users to bump their mobile phones together to send money. Laura Chambers, senior director at PayPal Mobile, revealed the launch of the new app complete with the bump technology, via a statement on the company website. Split the cheque is another feature of the app, which lets consumers automatically calculate the total cost of a bill...
BNP governance changes focus to Asia
The eurozone's largest private bank, BNP Paribas, is to reorganise its wealth management businesses under a single business line across five distinct geographic markets. The new zones are: Asia-Pacific; European domestic markets and new domestic markets; International Europe (including the Middle East and Latin America); and Luxembourg The elevation of Asia-Pacific to one of five key zones within the bank is a sign of the regions increasing...
IFRS takes another step towards uniform insurance standards
Uniform accounting standards for insurance contracts have taken another step towards becoming a reality with publication by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) of Insurance Contracts, an exposure draft of improvements for comment. The object of the IASBs effort is to set a standard that all insurers in all jurisdictions can apply to all contract types on a consistent basis.
SocGen Private Banking helps Down's syndrome children
Societe Generale Private Banking (SGPB) and the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) is starting an Education Enrichment Programme" for children with Downs syndrome. Its goal is to better equip children with practical literacy and numeracy skills, as well as self development skills
KDDI, Softbank Mobile and SK Telecom to introduce NFC standard
South Korean mobile telecommunications operator SK Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a Korea-Japan mobile payment co-operation with Japanese mobile operators KDDI and Softbank Mobile. This co-operation among the three companies is expected to lay ground for an interoperable and contactless payment environment for mobile phone users of Korea and Japan. Customers will be able to access mobile payment methods and...
HK regulator fines Julius Baer HK$3m
Swiss private bank Julius Baer is to pay HK$3m ($390,000) in fines to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) for failing to identify wealthy clients as professional investors between October 2006 and July 2008.
Mobile banking usage doubles in a year
Mobile banking usage has doubled in the past year, according to IDC Financial. But the report, 2009 Consumer Mobile Banking Preferences, adds that m-banking has not reached the point where it could be a game changer for banks.
Vietnam Eximbank recruits for JCB Card
Vietnam Eximbank, a major credit card acquiring bank in Vietnam, has started to recruit JCB credit card merchants in Vietnam based on an agreement signed in September 2009
QBE group acquires NAU Country Insurance
QBE of the Americas has agreed to acquire NAU Country Insurance and its holding companies (NAU Group) for $565m plus a special dividend to be paid prior to closing
DBS CEO apologises for systems failure
In Singapore, DBS Bank suffered a massive systems failure as its internet banking, ATM, credit card and payment services were crippled for up to seven hours The bank appeared to have been hit by a mainframe glitch which may have triggered the unprecedented systems failure.
Kuwait Finance House joins MEPS network
Customers of Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFHMB) are now connected to the MEPS network which facilitates cash withdrawals and balance inquiries between the MEPS member banks ATMs This is the result of an agreement signed between KFHMB and MEPS in June, making KFHMB the first foreign Islamic bank to offer both MEPS Interbank Giro Payment System (MEPS IBG) and MEPS Shared ATM Network to customers.
Rabobank may sell 10% stake in Yes Bank
Rabobank, which is buying about 0.5% or a $200m stake in the initial public offering of Agricultural Bank of China, is raising around $215m from the sale of 37.3m shares in Yes Bank to a group of domestic and foreign investors.
StanChart invests $500m in Agricultural Bank of China
Standard Chartered Bank will invest $500m as a cornerstone investor in Agricultural Bank of Chinas H-Share initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong. The consideration will be financed from Standard Chartereds internal cash resources and will be for the number of shares with a total value at the offer price of the HKD equivalent of $500m.
NAB boss open to 'super tax' debate
The National Australia Bank is prepared to talk about a bank super profits tax but only if it is raised formally Chief executive Cameron Clyne acknowledged there was community discussion for banks to face extra taxes in a similar way to the minerals resource rent tax hitting the mining industry.
PayPal launches mobile checkout service
PayPal has unveiled a mobile version of its Express Checkout service, allowing consumers to pay for goods on the go. PayPal has said the Mobile Express Checkout will feature a one-stop payment service which they claim is easy to integrate, has strong fraud protection and will allow merchants to sell to millions of mobile shoppers. A mobile version of Pay-Pals Express Checkout service, Mobile Express Checkout allows merchants to offer the same...
Foreign Visa card spending reaches $312m for World Cup
The South African economy has seen a boost in foreign visitor spending on Visa cards during the lead-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, according to the latest cardholder spending data from Visa. During the period leading up to the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup and the end of the tournament (1 June to 11 July), spending by international visitors in South Africa on Visa-branded payment cards exceeded $312m
Citibank China launches new SME Banking service
Citibank China has launched a new banking service housed within its consumer branch network designed to help owners of small enterprises The new initiative is designed to allow customers access to commercial banking services, while also taking advantage of a one-stop offering that caters to their personal banking needs via a single relationship manager at Citibank.
BofA says $10.7bn 'wrongly classified'
Bank of America said it wrongly classified as much as $10.7bn of short-term repurchase and lending transactions as sales from 2007 to 2009, to reduce its end-of-quarter assets. The disclosure, made in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), comes as the agency prepares to unveil the results of an inquiry into banks accounting for borrowing deals known as repurchase agreements, or "repos".
Transfer service for Korea and India
Western Union, a leader in global payment services, announced the launch of account-based money transfer (ABMT) services to two new Asia-Pacific markets, Korea and India. The service offering introduced for the first time in both markets follows agreements with Western Union's existing agents in the countries: Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and the State Bank of India (SBI). IBK customers with online banking facilities are now able to send...
Deregulation on cards for Indian savings rates
The Reserve Bank of India is set to deregulate retail savings interest rates, among the last remaining rates in the country subject to regulation by the Reserve Bank.
Big banks roll out 'Customer Charter'
In an effort to repair a brand image tarnished by bailouts, the Royal Bank of Scotland and sister bank NatWest launched what they call their Customer Charter Created by and for customers, the charter includes a set of 14 promises clustered into four themes: making banking easy; helping customers; supporting the community; and listening to customers.
Sumitomo Mitsui mulls Kotak Mahindra stake
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, a member of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, is planning to acquire 4.5% stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank, via the preferential route, for approximately 30bn Sumitomo Mitsui aims to bolster its businesses in India, one of the worlds fastest-growing economies, as part of its efforts to expand its overseas customer base. Sumitomo Mitsui has already partnerships with domestic banks in Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia...
AmEx unveils credit card in Singapore
American Express has launched a new credit card Rewards Card in Singapore which is said to recognise and reward consumers as per their individual spending preferences. According to the American Express, the new credit card will allow card members to select their favourite five places to shop, dine and spend and rewards them with bonus points each time they spend at their favourite five places
Deal boosts Mitsui Sumitomo in Malaysia
Japanese insurer Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (MSI) is to gain entry into Malaysias life insurance market and expand its presence in the countrys general insurance market through a deal with Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Financial Group (HLFG). Under the terms of the deal, MSI is to acquire a 30% stake in HLFGs life insurance business for MYR940m ($290m)
AIG readies Asian unit for an IPO
Financial services group Reliance Capital, a unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is to reduce its stake in its wholly-owned life insurance subsidiary Reliance Life Insurance (RLI) by 26 percent, according to numerous reports in Indias media
Visa Card spending tops $1trn, up 13.2%
For the 12 months ended 31 March, the total volume generated on all Visa cards across Asia-Pacific reached more than $1trn, an increase of 13.2% over the same period last year. The number of payment transactions rose to 9.8bn, up from 8.6bn 12 months ago, as the trend of consumers moving from using cash and checks to electronic forms of payment continued. Payment volume, representing the aggregate dollar amount of purchases made with cards...
Siam Commercial Bank ups support for SMEs
As part of ongoing efforts to support customers affected by the political unrest in the Ratchaprasong area of Bangkok, Siam Commercial Bank has launched several schemes for corporate customers to boost liquidity Siam Commercial Bank president Kannikar Chalitaporn said: "The bank is ready to fully assist affected customers in all our customer segments individuals, SMEs and corporations.
Indian consumers catching up on debt
Datamonitor has found Indian consumers increasingly willing to experiment with credit card services Datamonitor analyst Vandana Eswara said: "The payment card market is definitely growing
Singapore's DBS partners with JCB
JCB International (JCBI), the overseas arm of Japans biggest payment brand and credit card issuer, is expanding its card acceptance in Hong Kong and Macau through a partnership deal with Singaporean bank DBS. Under the agreement, DBS will obtain the merchant acquiring services of JCBI cards in the markets, both special administrative regions of China, by permitting JCBI card acceptance across its merchant network
DBS Bank to crowdsource 'Gen Y' branch concepts
DBS Bank in Singapore is crowdsourcing youth branch concepts with its I-Designed-A-Bank contest The contest invites the younger generation of customers to help design branches that will appeal to young people and their lifestyle. DBS hopes its contest for a new branch concept will engage young people while providing them with opportunities to showcase their design talents.
FINRA, ASIC enter co-operation agreement
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the US-based non-governmental regulator Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote and support greater cooperation. The agreement is expected to help the regulators investigate possible instances of cross-border market abuse in a timely manner, exchange information on firms under common supervision of both regulators,...
MasterCard launches P2P with Bank of China
MasterCard Worldwide has collaborated with Bank of China to launch MasterCard MoneySend in China MoneySend leverages MasterCards global payment network and card products to provide Chinese consumers with a convenient, fast, safe and reliable way for cross-border person-to-person money transfer. By using the MasterCard MoneySend solution, receivers in China only need to provide the account number, their BOC Great Wall International Maestro Card...
LIC rides high in India
Indias largest life insurer, state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), is sustaining its market share recovery, reveals April 2010 data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). According to the IRDA, LIC recorded first-year premium income of INR41.73bn ($750m) in April, up 97.5% compared with INR21.13bn 12 months earlier, and was the primary driver of a 59.6% increase in total industry new business to...
Zurich Financial gains Indonesian foothold
Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) has taken its first tentative step into Indonesias life insurance market with the purchase of an 80% stake in Mayapada Life from Mayapada Group, an Indonesian conglomerate
ANZ worst bank in NZ for satisfaction
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is the worst bank in New Zealand for customer satisfaction, according to a survey by trade union pressure group Better Banking. The research, carried out for bank workers union Finsec, showed 39% of customers surveyed expressed dissatisfaction with ANZ, with 46% claiming the bank is moving in the wrong direction.
ICBC 'most valuable bank brand' again
Marketing consultancy Millward Brown has released its 2010 annual top 100 brands survey, including the worlds most valuable banking brands Peter Walshe, global director at Millward Brown, tells Farah Halime how banks in emerging markets, notably ICBC and ICICI, are creeping into a usually US-dominated list. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has been ranked as the worlds most valuable banking brand for the second year in a row,...
HDFC Bank starts card migration to EMV
Indian bank HDFC has commenced EMV migration for its premium customers to prevent the skimming and misuse of credit cards. The bank has started the migration with its credit and forex prepaid smart card products on the Visa platform HDFC Bank also plans to issue EMV smart debit cards in the near future
ANZ opens in Shanghai to support China push
ANZ has officially opened its new main branch and head office in expanded new premises in Shanghai to support the groups continuing growth in China. Speaking at the opening, ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said: "With the importance of China to the future of the world economy, building a business which supports the economic connectivity between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is a core part of ANZs objective to become a super regional bank.
CUP now accepted in 4 more Asian countries
As the number of mainland Chinese tourists travelling in and around Asia continues to rise, payment processing provider Global Payments Asia-Pacific has extended China UnionPay (CUP) card acceptance services across a host of Asian markets. The extended service allows Chinese tourists to pay for goods and services with their CUP cards at merchants served by Global Payments in Brunei, the Maldives, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. China is...
A-P markets see consumer spending capability rise
A robust turnaround in consumer spending is expected in 2010 across Asia-Pacific, with double-digit retail sales growth predicted in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore as a result of improving fundamentals This is based on indications provided by the inaugural MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Spending Capability (MWICSC).
Switzerland approves UBS-US pact
Switzerlands parliament has approved the deal UBS signed with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in August 2009, in which UBS agreed to provide the IRS with the names of 4,450 Americans who held offshore accounts in Switzerland. The US Justice Department had accused UBS of helping wealthy American citizens evade taxes by creating secret bank accounts.
Indonesian tax breaks for Islamic banking
Indonesia may provide tax incentives for sukuk (Islamic financial certificate) issuance and Sharia bank deposits to compete with Malaysia, the worlds biggest sukuk market. Mulya E Siregar, an Islamic banking director at Bank Indonesia, said Indonesias finance ministry and central bank were studying tax incentives that could boost growth of Islamic finance
Suncorp bank sees rise in impairments
Suncorp-Metway Ltd says impairment charges in its core banking operations rose in the third quarter because of higher interest rates and the withdrawal of federal government stimulus, and that it booked a $20bn impairment loss in the three months to March 31 in its core bank.
ANZ gets OK to establish Chongqing branch
Following a strategic cooperation agreement between ANZ and Chongqing Government's Financial Office signed in February, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) has received approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to establish a branch in Chongqing, the economic gateway to south-western China.
SBI ties with Elavon, Visa for POS terminals
State Bank of India has selected Visa International and Elavon as partners for a joint venture, which will set up 600,000 point of sale (POS) terminals.
Wealth management M&A deals top $20bn in Q409
Wealth management deal activity and deal values have increased significantly over the past 18 months, with the most deals occurring in the medium and high net worth segments, according to inaugural research from wealth consultancy Scorpio Partnership.
Malaysia's Bank Islam, Middle East buyers eye Bank Muamalat
Looking to tap into the vast but untested Indonesian Islamic banking market, Malaysias Bank Islam and Middle Eastern investors are keen to buy a stake in PT Bank Muamalat via a planned IDR1trn ($110mn) rights issue in June.
ANZ profit soars as bad-debt charges fall
The ANZ Bank says it has made a half-year statutory profit of $1.9bn, up 36% on the same period the year before. The bank attributes this to a sharp fall in bad debt charges and renewed growth in the region.
ICBC commences operations in Malaysia
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad (ICBC Malaysia), a subsidiary of China-based ICBC, has commenced its business operations in Malaysia.
More foreign competition for Big 4
In an attempt to boost competition between the big lenders, foreign banks operating in Australia will enjoy an extra tax break on top of a cut in company taxes from 30% to 29% From 2013-14, the government hopes to eventually phase out interest withholding tax, which is levied on locally based banks borrowing from their foreign head offices.
The best bank brand in the world is... Chinese
A recent report in the Financial Times about global brands announced that the financial sector bounced back the strongest this year, with an estimated 12% in brand value growth, beating even beer as a sector for brand improvement (source: Millward Brown Optimor, including data from BrandZ, Datamonitor and Bloomberg).
Punjab National Bank Q4 profits surge 31%
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has reported a 31.1% increase in net profit for the quarter ended 31 March to INR11.4bn ($30million) (2009, INR8.7bn).
Government stake in TMB for sale
The Thai government's finance ministry, owner of a 22.6% stake in the country's sixth-largest bank by assets, TMB, is reportedly planning to dispose of its holding and will offer first refusal to ING.
India's ICICI eyes stake in Bank of Rajasthan
Indias second-largest lender, ICICI, is in talks to buy a stake in Bank of Rajasthan (BOR) from the Tayals, who control the small private sector bank with a 29% holding at end-December according to the Bombay Stock Exchange data.
ANZ Bank eyes Lone Star's KEB Bank stake
Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd is considering buying Lone Star Fund's 51% controlling stake in the Korean Exchange Bank, Korea's fifth largest lender, though discussions are still in the early stages, said Michael Smith, the bank's chief executive.
ICICI gets approval for Singapore expansion
ICICI, Indias largest private sector bank, will be able to expand its presence in Singapore after being granted qualified full banking licence in the country.
Agricultural Bank of China set for world's biggest flotation
As the only remaining unlisted member of China's Big Four state-controlled megabanks, the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) is set to make the world's largest initial public offering a cash call of at least $30bn.
DBS signs agreement with JCB International
DBS has started to facilitate JCB card acceptance in its merchant network in Hong Kong.
Editor's comment: Collaborate or compete
Standard Chartered is 'Here for good'
Standard Charted has begun rolling out a global brand campaign underpinned by its continued drive to grow market share across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
China Mobile invests to expand e-payments
China Mobile has agreed to buy 20% of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank for CNY39.8bn ($5.8bn) to expand its electronic payment business They will form a strategic alliance offering wireless financial services including mobile bank cards and payment services.
China Construction Bank (CCB) has unveiled plans for Asia's biggest ever rights issue - $11bn to be exact as the bank's
China Construction Bank (CCB) has unveiled plans for Asias biggest ever rights issue $11bn to be exact as the banks capital adequacy ratio slips below the required level.
UBS looks to add 400 A-P advisers
UBS is aiming to hire 400 advisers to the existing 1,000 in Asia-Pacific amid signs the private banks franchise is beginning to turn around in one region, at least.
People moves: Asia-Pacific
People: Moves in Asia-Pacific
Indian contactless future hits speed bump
Just completed in India, the worlds biggest pilot involving contactless payments-enabled mobile phones has been declared a resounding success by independent adjudicators
News Digest 3
State Bank of India signs for solar ATMs... CUP partners with Maldives bank... Cassis powers Alliance's personalised cards... Indian credit card spending on the rise... ANZ seeks buyer for stake in Vietnam bank... Westpac to expand presence in London... Profits at ICBC push retail up
News Digest 1
News Digest 1
News Digest 2
Aviva, UKs second-largest insurer, is to re-enter the Asian general insurance market, five years after selling its non-life operations in the region to Japans Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance for $450m.
A busy year for MoneyGram
MoneyGram's ambitious expansion drive has taken another step forward with the acquisition of Blue Dolphin Financial Services, a retail remittance agency with 18 branches in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Editor's comment: Recovery story tarnished
The job market pretty much reflects market sentiment at the moment Just over a year ago, headhunters were making selective placements as resumes piled up in their inboxes.
ANZ receive foreign bank licence in-principle approval in India...Credit Suisse appoints new head of investment solutions for Australasia...RBS Coutts relocates co-chief investment officer to Asia...Axa's Asia Pacific ambitions thwarted...POSBank programme sees coin deposit machines in schools
According to a survey commissioned by Visa of 651 cardholders, Hong Kong cardholders are switching to Visa payWave and would increase the usage of the contactless payment feature if more merchants in Hong Kong accepted the card.
ANZ acquires 1.6m customers in Taiwan and Singapore...China Mobile to invest in Shanghai bank...Record $845m net profit for CIMB Group...Asia-Pacific shoppers more security conscious...PayPal to double Asia presence by end of year
OCBC cost-income ratio falls to 37.3% in 2009...Bangkok Bank reports small 2009 profits rise...Paypal suspends India operations...
Credit Suisse becomes cautious on H2
One of the worlds leading private banking groups, Credit Suisse, says that while first half prospects for Asia remain sound, sentiment on the second half of the year are less clear Joseph Tan, a chief economist in its private banking division, says growth and inflation dynamics may prove highly challenging going forward. Credit Suisse Private Banking believes Asias economic growth in the first half of 2010 will be secure given the weak...
China's changing card dynamics
A new report from US payment consultancy Celent, Credit Card Systems in China: Technology and Vendor Overview, charts the development of the Chinese credit card industry to date, and how rapid growth in a short space of time has driven the need for banks in the country to increase their processing capabilities to handle the growing volume of card payments.
Infosys to power SocGen in China
As a key element in its ambitious growth strategy in China, French bank Societe Generales Chinese unit has completed the implementation of Finacle, a core banking, customer relationship management, wealth management and consumer electronic banking platform supplied by Indian technology systems and services vendor Infosys Technologies.
Cartes looks towards a positive future
Last years Cartes event, held in Paris on 17-19 November, once again showcased innovations in the cards and payments industry It was also notable for a buoyant air of optimism among delegates, with many convinced the industry has emerged relatively unscathed from recent economic turbulence
At the same time as completing the acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotlands Vietnamese operations, ANZ has opened its tenth branch in the country, underscoring how significant the Australian banking group views the Vietnamese market
Ping An and Discovery Health team up
Chinas nascent private health insurance market is expanding rapidly, something Chinese insurer Ping An and South Africas largest health insurer, Discovery, hope to exploit in a proposed insurance joint venture With the forging of an alliance between Ping An, Chinas second-largest life insurer, and Discovery Holdings, South Africas largest health insurer, the wheels have been set in motion to create one of the more unique joint ventures in...
Europe's state-supported private banks head for the exit
More than 100 billion ($147 billion) of private banking assets are coming up for disposal as more troubled banks in Europe seek to sell off wealth management operations to repay state support.But these planned disposals are resulting in a sudden over-supply of private banking properties onto the M&A market, amid the most depressed valuations for wealth deals in several years.Some analysts believe that in the coming months values could drop...
Private banks look at active advisory pricing
As clients shift away from discretionary mandates following poor investment performance, private banks are examining means of protecting their margins One solution being favoured increasingly by the leading firms is active advisory pricing, which links advisory services to transaction activities Private banks across the industry are turning to active advisory pricing models to help stem declines in margins and provide more transparency for...
M&A: All to play for in regional power play
The Asia-Pacific banking sector will see a notable increase in mergers, acquisitions and consolidation activities in 2010, according to a new study by local research house IDC Financial Insights Asia-Pacific. As Asia becomes the main focal point for economic growth in the wake of the global financial crisis, banking industry consolidation could be one of the defining trends in the region over the next few years, according to a new report from...
China's Alipay on track to top PayPal
Chinas leading online payment firm Alipay is expected to top US payment provider PayPal by transaction value in two years, becoming the worlds leading e-payment service, according to Polo Shao, president of Alipay. Alipay, a unit of the Alibaba Group, says it handles CNY1 billion ($146.5 million) in transactions daily and will reach an annual volume of CNY1 trillion in two years to become the world largest e-payment firm.
Australian payment fraud rising
Across all four payment instruments, the APCA reported that compared with the 2007-08 period, fraud increased by almost A$0.02 ($0.018) for every A$1,000 transacted, from A$0.07 to A$0.09 in every A$1,000.
Live and Direct
An inventive new marketing campaign from HSBCs UK direct banking subsidiary First Direct is displaying customer comments both good and bad on a website designed to showcase the companys commitment to customer service The new Live campaign from UK direct bank First Direct has put a bold spin on its customer service proposition by collating comments from across the internet to see what its customers are saying about it
Interchange war heats up
The US merchant community is ratcheting up the pressure on the leading payment networks over the contentious issue of interchange, with campaigns aimed at the public and intensive lobbying of lawmakers If the war over interchange rates in the United States ratchets much higher, the damage done politically might prove more problematic in the long term than the regulations, should they materialise
State Bank of India's new online rewards
Keeping existing customers happy, and incentivising them to stay, as well as attracting new ones through innovative rewards programmes has become vital, as a new launch from State Bank of India illustrates. Despite huge investment in its 12,000-strong branch network and 12,000 ATMs, State Bank of India (SBI) remains keen to get as many of its estimated 150 million customers using the internet to bank as possible.
Norway sharpens its cutting edge
The march towards banking service automation is continuing apace in Norway, where an estimated four out of five adults now use BankID electronic signatures to purchase products and services from their financial institutions Dan Jones spoke to two early pioneers, DnB NOR and BN Bank, about their latest innovations. In what is fast becoming one of the most innovative retail banking markets in the world, Norwegian banks are continuing to roll out...
Strong results in a market of opportunity
Bank Mandiri, the countrys largest, reported a 16.8 percent year-on-year profit rise for the nine months to 30 September, up from IDR3.95 trillion ($418 million) to IDR4.62 trillion
Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG), Japans largest banking group, has posted second-quarter net profits of 65 billion ($754.4 million), up 59.3 percent from 40.8 billion in the year-ago quarter
ANZ launches global brand for A-P
Underlining once again just how important it views the Asia-Pacific region, Australias ANZ has launched a new brand identity and positioning to support what it calls its super regional strategy The new brand identity and positioning follows 18 months of detailed research involving more than 1,300 customers and 250 staff in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. ANZs chief executive officer, Mike Smith, said in a statement: ANZ is...
India's RBI pushes mobile banking
The popularity of mobile phones in India and the development of mobile commerce in the country is so profound that India could bypass traditional internet-based e-commerce altogether and focus just on m-commerce over the coming years, according to the countrys central bank. The number of mobile devices in the country surpassed 500 million in September, says the Reserve Bank of India, and, despite a need for caution and strong regulation in...
Citi ups its loyalty play in Asia-Pacific
Citigroup has one of the more developed rewards programmes for the Asian market at www.citirewards.com, a site that serves customers in nine different jurisdictions including Taiwan, India, Hong Kong and Australia. The groups US-based Thank You rewards programme is the worlds largest scheme, and boasts around 13 million members.
Exclusive prepaid research from VRL and TNS
One of the key presentations came from VRL which, again in conjunction with global market research firm TNS, updated its groundbreaking 2008 research into prepaid awareness in the UK by widening this years research to over 6,000 consumers in the UK and Italy. Whereas 50 percent of UK consumers surveyed were aware of what prepaid cards were and how they worked, in Italy the figure was 59 percent. But while 19 percent of Italians surveyed were...
UK banks pushing fee-based accounts
Despite the prevalence of free banking in the UK, fee-earning packaged accounts are on the rise and now account for around 14 percent of all current accounts in the country Interest in packaged accounts (PAs) continues to rise in the UK, with both banks and their customers drawn to a market that will be worth an estimated £1.6 billion ($2.6 billion) in fee income in 2009
The prepaid card agenda
Over 300 delegates attended this years Prepaid Cards Summit, held in Rome on 12-13 November The success of Poste Italianes prepaid portfolio, which now has 5.6 million participants, was an excellent indication of the opportunities in prepaid a point the first-rate line-up of speakers keenly discussed.
The rise of personal teller machines
Charles Davis examines a small but growing trend in the US retail banking market for PTMs, or personal teller machines PTMs let a banks customer using an ATM link with a call centre operator via live video feed and can, according to some of the banks using them, help facilitate customer service and improve sales. In the lobby of a southeast Michigan credit union sits what many think is the retail banking service interface of the future
Setting the pace for the integrated model
In its home market, Crdit Agricole is the second-largest life insurer through its subsidiary Predica, with 15 percent of the market
After the crisis
While the financial crisis has had an impact on the global bancassurance model, with sales of life and other long-term investment products in severe decline as banks prioritise deposits to replenish liquidity, the future of the bancassurance channel remains positive.
Changing the way people bank
Almost half of the Philippines population, about 100 million people, do not have bank deposit accounts, but Bank of the Philippine Islands is trying to make access to financial services simply a text message away through the establishment of a mobile microfinance bank Publicly listed Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the countrys third-largest lender, and sister firm Globe Telecom, the countrys second-largest telecommunications company,...
Sumitomo Trust, Chuo Mitsui to merge
Much needed consolidation in Japans fracturedand sluggish banking market continues to pick up with news that Sumitomo Trust& Banking and Chuo Mitsui Trust have said they are in merger talks to create Japansfifth-largest bank by assets.
Elena T orrijos spoke to Diana Cesar, HSBCs head of customer proposition and segments, personalfinancial services, Asia-Pacific, about the groups roll-out of its Premier-branded, mass affluent productacross the region. The brand continues to sell well, she said, up 10 percent for the first half of the year
The success of Barclaycard's 'Waterslide' contactless payment promotional campaign, already a major hit courtesy of a po
BforBank is a new direct banking service offering savings, pensions and investment products. AndrCoisne, BforBanks CEO, tells Douglas Blakey he has set an ambitious target for its first year of up to40,000 customers and total deposits of around 2 billion, a market share of 2 percent in France
IT spending to return to normal in 2012
The IT industry is exiting its worst ever year and is on track to return to growth in 2010 with spendingforecast to total $3.3 trillion, a 3.3 percent increase from 2009. But, according to consultancy Gartner,the market will not recover to 2008 revenue levels before 2012, reports Douglas Blakey
NETS FlashPay revs up competition in Singapore
Raising the bar in a market well versed in the use of contactless payments, Network for Electronic Transfers Singapore (NETS) has launched NETS FlashPay, a contactless stored-value card for use on Singapores rail and bus services, for public parking and for retail purchases.
Citi opens new retailoutlet in Vietnam, Interac allows China UnionPay ATM access, Commonwealth unveils prepaid card in India, Singapore edges towards white list, Bank of China registers 3.8% rise in earnings...
AuM seen growing in double digits
Private bankers are optimistic for 2010, with nearly two thirds expecting net newassets of between 10 and 15 percent in 2010, according to BPA research.
USAA blazes remote deposits trail
The United Services Automobile Association, the US bank dedicated to providing financial services toAmerican military personnel and their families, has achieved instant success since the August launchof its iPhone app which allows remote cheque deposits. Charles Davis reports
M&A dominoes start to tumble
Tougher regulation, the attack on offshore money centres and more competition for client business shouldrationalise the industry significantly, although the biggest premiums for deals will likely be paid in rapidlyrecoveringAsia. And growing numbers of banks are throwing their hats in the M&A ring. John E vans reports
EU ends ING's global ambitions
Having spent the past decade trying to convinceits stakeholders of the virtues of the bancassurance model, Dutch-headquarteredING is to focus on its banking unit, a result of aharsher than expected restructuring plan foistedon the bank by the European Union (EU) CompetitionCommissioner Neelie Kroes.
'SEPA offers significant benefits for bank customers'
On 13 October, the European Payments Council held a press conference to informon the 2 November 2009 launch of the SEPACore Direct Debit Scheme and the SEPA Business to Business Direct Debit Scheme.
An industry in transition
The 19th annual VRLPrivate Banker International conference drew speakers from across the industry to speak about the key trends affecting their businesses. Will C ain, editor of PBI, sums up the main talking points froma day and a half of presentations on compliance, offshore centres and private banking business models
Barclays breaks 'apps' record
The success of Barclaycards Waterslide contactless payment promotional campaign, already a major hitcourtesy of a popular television advertisement in the UK, has been taken a step further by Barclays decisionto extend the brand across digital platforms, and in particular the Apple iPhone. Dan Jones reports.
The price war continues
All of Australias Big Four banks have made cuts to fees in an attempt to placate regulatory unrest overretail banking charges. National Australia Bank was the first to move back in September. Dan Jones spokewith Lisa Gray, the group executive for NAB personal banking, about further charges simplification
New branches for SC
Standard Chartered has opened two privatebanking centres in the Gangnamarea of Seoul, taking its number of privatebanking centres in Korea to seven.
Card issuers learn to hit the target
Card issuers have learned that in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace, theirofferings must take on a level of differentiation that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.Victoria C onroy looks at some of the latest product offerings aimed at specific consumer segments
The state of the European marketplace
In a major new report for VRL, financial consultant Chris S kinner examines the evolution of the PaymentServices Directive and Single European Payments Area. The result of this research has conclusively provedwhat had anecdotally been suspected that the programmes are on track, but the route has gone off course
Robust earnings drive India's ascent
Indias banks have recorded strong second quarter earnings, underlining again that the country isin the middle of a financial services boom in sharp contrast to other parts of the world. The fear is thatan asset bubble is developing in a country with a low debt per capita ratio. Hugh Fasken reports
Korean reforms hit by tough markets
South Korea has been at the cutting edge of banking innovation and its wealth management industry isno different. Banks in the country are looking to up their focus on private banking and are doing so withincreasingly novel offerings, like HNWI dating services. Dan Jones reports
Domestic players to the fore in Asia
As private banking gains greater prominence in Asia-Pacific, numerous domestic banks are vying for market share and attempting to break international private banks traditional dominance in the field. Titien Ahmad highlights those best positioned to grow along with the rising wealth in the region
China crisis for credit cards?
The meteoric growth of credit cards inChina has not come without teething problems. With China cited as one of themost promising credit card markets in the world, banks have rushed to sign up newcardholders by offering an ever-increasing array of products.
GSMA starts development grant ball rolling
Putting its commitment to expanding mobile payments in developing regions into financial action, mobile network operator (MNO) bodythe GSM Association (GSMA) has awarded the first four grants from its Mobile Moneyfor the Unbanked fund (MMU).
Taiwans Cathay United Bank opts for upgrade from Indias TCS Indias Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won a contract from Cathay United Bank, a full-service bank in Taiwan, to implement TCS BaNCS Core Banking system KT Chang, Cathay Uniteds chief information officer, said in a statement: With over 180 domestic branches and more than 10 overseas offices, the team at Cathay United Bank required a world class core banking solution that would...
Australian Senate backs 'four pillars' rule
Australias four pillars policy, introduced in 1990 to block mergers between the countrys four largest banks Westpac, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB) and ANZ should stay in force, according to an Australian Senate enquiry. While the Big Four, in particular the chief executives of ANZ and Westpac, have argued that the strategy designed to also promote competition and protect consumers prevents them from competing on...
A very different Citi takes shape
Once the worlds largest banking group, Citigroup is shrinking, and shrinking fast. It is pulling out of some once-core markets, including the UK, and focusing on North America, Latin America and certain markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Once it has finished selling off non-core units, a very different bank will be left
LIC widens its lead on private Indian insurers
Indias state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) continued to trounce its private sector rivals in July, recording sales of INR52.4 billion ($1.1 billion) in July, up a massive 60 percent compared with July 2008 according to the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority.
A-P banks take on the foreigners
As Asia steadily regains its position as the worlds growth market, the continents big banks are emerging from the global crisis stronger and more confident and better placed to dominate in their domestic markets than foreign banks More than that, there are strong indications that many are now looking more seriously than ever at moving into mature foreign markets such as the UK. In the past few months in particular, a number of Asia-Pacific...
Major insurance law revamp looms
Implementation of the most significant amendment to Chinas insurance law in seven years is days away, and for insurers it will bring increased regulatory challenges and opportunities. However, although expert comment is generally positive there are notable reservations on implementation of the new law
China's ICBC pushes into Thailand
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has added to its expanding global empire by buying a stake in Thailands small-but-growing ACL Bank
Recession takes its toll on Hong Kong insurers
According to the OCI, total new sales slumped 52.6 percent compared with the first half of 2009 to HK$19.52 billion ($2.5 billion) with the most significant damage done by linked individual life and annuity sales which fell 77.4 percent to HK6.03 billion.
The global assault on fees begins
Leading banks in the US and UK have joined their Australian counterparts in reducing fees for retail customers (see ANZ story page 12 and BPA 007), the latest sign that the repercussions of the financial crisis are precipitating a sea-change in banking practices in Anglo-Saxon economies.
Giving credit to Islamic payment cards
An updated report from VRL Financial News on Islamic finance shines further light on this burgeoning, global financial services sector. In this brief extract, the report describes how Sharia-compliant payment cards work, with examples of successful products from Islamic financial service providers
ANZ targets teens with MySpace prepaid card
US social networking site MySpace has teamed up with Australian bank ANZ to release a reloadable prepaid Visa card The Recharge card, issued by ANZ, is the first reloadable prepaid Visa card in Australia designed to offer benefits exclusively for users of social networking sites. Australian MySpace members can use the card for both online transactions and traditional retail purchases, and the card also allows MySpace users to top up their...
Visa and MasterCard ride the recession
Visa, the worlds largest payment network, continues to take a scythe to operating costs and expenses, with total operating expenses falling 9 percent in the third quarter.
Asia's payment innovations singled out
The latest World Payments Report from Capgemini, Royal Bank of Scotland and the European Financial Management & Marketing Association says services such as G-Cash in the Philippines, Hong Kongs Octopus card, Japans DCMX mobile credit cards and Paymate in India are pushing payment innovation to new highs
Raiffeisen upgrades in Russia
The bank, which has five million customers in the country, says that Misys Midas Plus 1.4 solution will allow it to benefit from improved retail lending over the coming years Raiffeisen International has gone live with core banking solution Midas Plus 1.4 from Misys in Russia, part of the Austrian banks big plans for its Russian franchise (ZAO Raiffeisenbank).
Merging cards and mobiles into one
Ita Unibanco, Brazils largest commercial bank, has partnered with Brazils leading telecoms firm Vivo to launch both a new credit card and a mobile payments system Dan Jones spoke to Carlos Zanvettor, director of credit cards at Ita Unibanco, about the project and the benefits the bank expects from the innovations. Brazils Ita Unibanco, formed from the merger of Banco Ita and Unibanco in late 2008, believes a strategic card partnership with...
ICBC unveils 3G m-banking in China
The worlds biggest and arguably most successful and profitable bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has upgraded its m-banking platform following the successful trial of a new Third Generation (3G) service. The bank, which already boasts the worlds largest online customer base with a stated 62 million users, says its new 3G platform is a first in the country, allowing it to not only offer basic services like account inquiries but...
Profit up 10%... though retail banking down significantly
Barclays reported half-year earnings up 10 percent to £2.98 billion, one of the better results from a global bank The best performance came from its investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, which grew profits 100 percent year-on-year to £1.05 billion
Pace of change growing in A-P
The velocity of change in the Asian private banking industry is faster than ever before, according to Jimmy Lee, who has more than 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Lee, recently appointed head of Clariden Leus Asian business, said one of the key growths in assets under management over the coming years will be from liquidity events like IPOs and M&As; and wealth deposited in local and regional banks.
BCA's half-year profits up by 35%
Bank Central Asia posted a resilient set of interim results for the six months to 30 June, with net income rising by more than a third to IDR3.3 trillion ($324.4 million) compared with a year ago. BCAs strong performance was boosted by a sharp rise in its net interest margin, which rose sharply to 6.3 percent compared with 5.5 percent a year ago, with low cost demand and savings deposits accounting for a peer-busting 75 percent of total deposits.
Birth of a new processing giant
American payment heavyweights Bank of America and First Data Corp have joined forces to form a new company which has it sights set firmly on leading the field in the provision of innovative, next-generation payments solutions to businesses of all sizes across the globe In a powerful combination of American payments giants, Bank of America and First Data Corp announced the formation of a new company that will deliver next-generation payments...
13 million reasons to say Thank You
Loyalty programmes have been standard marketing fare for banks for many years but few initiatives have proved as big a hit as Citis ThankYou programme To mark the pioneering schemes fifth anniversary, Citi is rewarding ThankYous 13 million members with bonus points and extra benefits, reports Douglas Blakey. Introduced in July 2004, initially for the banks credit card clientele, Citis Thank-You rewards programme highlighted the banks belief in...
Where next for mobile payments?
As mobile phones are used increasingly to transfer complex information such as pictures and videos, it is unsurprising the technology has also been adapted to transfer money John Hill takes a close look at how the nascent mobile payment industry is progressing and how contactless is accelerating its evolution.
Deloitte sees big changes ahead
A new report from Deloittes Insurance Practice, Financial Foresight: Global Operating Models, says the business strategies of many insurance company must be adapted for a rapidly changing global market to avoid duplication and lack of flexibility in both capital and talent deployment
M-Pesa transfers up 718% year-on-year
Safaricoms wildly successful person-to-person (P2P) and mobile banking service, M-Pesa, saw the number of registered users skyrocket from 2.075 million as of March 2008 to 6.175 million at the end of March this year an annual growth rate of 198 percent.
A price war breaks out in Australia
In Australia, in particular, the issue continues to shape the countrys banking industry, especially since the latest survey by the central bank found that banking fees rose 7.9 percent year-on-year
Eng: compliance key to Asia push
Clariden Leu has identified Greater China, Indonesia, Singapore and India, including non-resident Indians, as the key private banking markets for its Asian business. The bank has appointed Jimmy Lee Kong Eng head of Asia business to spearhead its push in the countries. Eng, previously head of Deutsche Banks Southeast Asia Private Wealth Management business, previously headed a team of around 150 employees.
Insurer Aviva and Singapores DBS Bank have extended their bancassurance partnership from 2010 to 2015 in an effort to address what the bank said was customers growing need for financial security and to tap on new markets in Asia-Pacific
India's first insurance IPO mooted
Financial services group Reliance Capital, a unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is to reduce its stake in its wholly-owned life insurance subsidiary Reliance Life Insurance (RLI) by 26 percent, according to numerous reports in Indias media.
China UnionPay partners with Global Payments in Malaysia, Singapore banks suffer under weight of loan loss provisions, Thailands Bangkok Bank goes mobile, ANZ raises A$2.5bn to fund RBS Asia bid....
Mobile Money Ventures (MMV), a leading global solutions provider of the next generation of mobile financial services, has teamed up with Citibank to offer the first browser-based mobile banking solution of its kind in the Philippines
Fitch takes a dim view on Japan
In a sweeping appraisal of Japans life insurance industry, rating agency Fitch has downgraded nine of the countrys 23 domestically-controlled mutual and non-mutual life insurers. Fitch has also assessed all nine companies as having negative outlooks.
China UnionPay teams up with Sino Payments...VietUnion to initiate Payoo e-wallet trial...CIMB ups Asia-Pacific ambitions with China acquisition...
ANZ rebrands, expands in Indonesia and China...Hong Kong card delinquency ratio rises...Chinas banks report strong annual figures...
New leaders emerge from the chaos
With the disappearance of Wachovia and Washington Mutual and the break-up of Citigroup, the US retail banking market has become dominated by the Big Three of Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. Combined, the three now control over 30 percent of US depsoits. Hugh Fasken reports.
State of the year
The biggest banking deals of 2008 were the numerous state bail-outs, capital injections, loan guarantees and nationalisations that have radically altered the industry in the wake of the credit crunch. Many of the biggest non-state mergers and acquisitions seemed driven more by politics than strategy too, writes Douglas Blakey.
ING Direct: more customers, less profit
ING Direct, for a long time seen as the bellwether for North American and pan-European savings trends, has reported a collapse in pre-tax income. The unit has posted a loss of 1.13 billion, driven downwards by a huge rise in impairments.
Absa smashes 1m m-banking barrier
Absa's enthusiasm for the mobile banking channel has paid off with spectacular results. It has become the first South African bank to sign up one million m-banking customers, following a surge in popularity of the channel in the past year with up to 5,000 clients registering for the service every day.
Time to think outside the box
As consumer usage of prepaid cards grows, solution providers need to think carefully about expanding their proposition offerings, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Ultimately, selecting the right processor is also crucial as payment transaction volumes rise. Charles Davis reports.
Thai banks report strong 2008 profits...Bank of East Asia adds to US branch network...South Korea sees surge in direct banking...
'The performance really stands out'
Thailand's banks have had a relatively strong year. Titien Ahmad talks to Kannikar Chalitaporn,the president of Siam Commercial Bank, one of the most retail banking savvy players in the market. Net profit, return on equity and return on assets were all the highest in the industry.
Resona combines trust and retail operations
Resona, Japans fourth-largest bank, has concluded a merger between its retail and trust banking businesses, in an attempt to improve the service offered to its wealth management clients Resona Trust & Banking Company (RTB), which looks after pensions, corporate trusts, asset management product planning and consulting for the bank, is being folded into the Resona Bank (RB), Resona Groups retail banking franchise.
Fintech dealwatch: asia-pacific
Every two months, Fintech DealWatch tracks recent major technology contract wins with a focus on the retail financial services industry as well as fintech mergers and acquisitions and innovative new product launches
First adviser layoffs hit Asia
The past month has demonstrated wealth management is far from immune from job cuts. Even the fastest-growing parts of the industry in Asia have been affected, though as John Evans reports, in a region where demand for advisors has always outstripped supply, there is still room for some optimism.
RBS goes back to basics
Royal Bank of Scotland, the majority state-owned banking giant among the most high-profile global casualties of the economic crisis, has kicked off an in-branch financial advice service in the UK available to everyone. It is all part of the group's drive to 'back to basics' banking, writes Douglas Blakey.
Watching and waiting
Singapore and Hong Kong authorities are keeping a keen eye on developments in Europe and the US as regulatory and political pressure continues to be applied on banking secrecy. Titien Ahmad looks at how each of the Asia-Pacific wealth hubs are reacting to the shifting legislative tides across the world.
Australia: growing old gracefully
Australias domestic banks have maintained their dominant position in the private banking market and are becoming more global in their offerings, spurred by competition from foreign players. The much talked about youth of the Australian wealth market may be moving into a more respectable middle age, says William Cain.
Australian ATM reform in place for major shake-up of the market
The ATM market in Australia is set for a major shake-up in March 2009, when reforms by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will take effect.
BoC in aggressive domestic expansion
Bank of China (BoC) is expanding ambitiously in its domestic market, making wealth management services available at 50 offices across China as part of a three-pronged approach to attract the countrys wealthy.