Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2010

Published March 22nd, 2010 - 10:07 GMT
Last night, the region’s retail banking elite gathered for the winners’ ceremony of The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards Programme 2010 at the JW Marriot in Shanghai. About 120 senior retail bankers from award winning banks in 22 countries across the Asia Pacific, the Gulf and Central Asian regions attended the formal gala dinner celebration. One individual and 36 financial institutions grabbed retail banking honours, which included a Retail Banker of the Year recognition, 33 regional and country awards and 22 product, process and special awards.
 
Headlining the awards ceremony, Mr. Baek Soon Lee, CEO of Shinhan Bank, was named Retail Banker of the Year, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia won the Best Retail Bank in Asia Pacific award to go along with its Best Retail Bank in Australia and Best Brand Building Initiative awards. OCBC was named the Best Retail bank in Singapore for 2009. Presenting the Retail Banker of the Year, Best Retail Bank in Asia Pacific and six other top awards was the evening’s guest of honour Mr. Yan Qingmin, head of China Banking Regulatory Commission, Shanghai.
 
Held in conjunction with the 6th Asia Pacific Heads of Retail Annual Meeting and Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention, the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards ceremony is the industry’s celebration of the region’s best retail bankers and their efforts in bringing superior products and services to their customers.
 
The Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards Programme is administered by The Asian Banker and refereed by prominent global bankers, consultants and academics. A stringent three month-long evaluation process, based on a balanced and transparent scorecard,determined the winners and the position of the different retail banks in the region.
 
Now in its ninth year, the awards programme is the most prestigious of its kind. A full winners list is attached.
 
Shinhan Bank CEO Mr. Baek Soon Leenamed Retail Banker of the Year for 2009
 
Mr. Baek Soon Lee, CEO of Shinhan Bank, has been chosen as Retail Banker of the Year for 2009, having been instrumental in operationally integrating two important acquisitions: the acquisition of Cho Hung Bank and LG card.
 
Mr. Lee started his career 1971 as a branch retail manager and, after 38 years with Shinhan Bank, was named CEO and President of the bank in March 2009.
 
The Cho Hung M&A in 2003 was at that time the biggest M&A deal in the country’s history.
To make this merger successful, Shinhan decided to go for the “Dual Banking System”; Mr.  Lee was one of the people who brought this idea to the table.
 
Mr. Lee was in charge of the Post-Merger process integration between these two retail giants.
Within three years after the merger of Cho Hung Bank, Shinhan Bank showed a strong performance improvement. Under his supervision, new Shinhan Bank’s retail power became twice of what it was before. It became the world’s best bench marking case study for Banking M&A and is still taught in Harvard Business School.
 
Being the head of retail banking at the time of the LG Card M&A, Mr. Lee kept focusing on bringing LG card customers into Shinhan bank. The initial cross sales rate between Shinhan Bank and LG Card was less than 15%. Under Mr Lee’s leadership, the rate increased to more than 50%.
 
The Retail Banker of the Year award identifies an eminent retail banker of world class standing, reflecting the high quality of leadership and skills in the region. This coveted career recognising award is reserved for an individual who has demonstrated the ability to build a long-term, sustainable and profitable banking franchise over a period of year, and distinguished his or herself as a drive of the industry.
 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia took the Best Retail Bank in Asia Pacific, Best Retail Bank in Australia and Best Brand Building Initiative awards
 
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has won the Best Retail Bank in Asia Pacific for its strong performance in retail banking in 2009, garnering not only higher scores among its local peers ANZ, NAB and Westpac – winning for CBA the Best Retail Bank in Australia Award, but also the highest score among the best retail banks that were surveyed in the programme. Furthermore, CBA has also won the Best Brand Building Initiative 2010 for its outstanding achievements in brand management.
 
CBA’s retail division disclosed a healthy profit growth of 10% year in 2009, posting significant growths in SME banking and mortgages. CBA dominated the Australian retail deposits and even expanded market share. The purchase of the highly successful banking franchise – BankWest – within the year, further extended their foothold in Western Australia.
 
CBA provides its customers with the most comprehensive branch and ATM network in Australia.  The bank has also used alternative channels such as the internet and mobile banking. They have introduced innovative products such as the contactless payments feature, being the first Australian bank to do so.
 
CBA has also won the Best Retail Branding Award for its unique approach of partnering with an online search provider to provide a portal for the purchase of property. The portal provides a search and purchase tool which includes useful lifestyle criteria, and enables the bank to immediately offer financing opportunities. The enhanced features have yielded satisfactory customer service feedback and a significant market uptake.
 
"In 2009, Commonwealth Bank of Australia was more profitable than other players in retail banking in Asia, especially in Australia market. It was also highly successful in enhancing its customer relationships by improving its brand image. Retail banking, internet banking, property search service and new credit card products made banking with CBA more valuable for its customers," said Mr. Chris Kapfer, head of Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards Programme at The Asian Banker.
 
Over 120 banks and financial institutions from 23 countries across the Asia Pacific, Gulf and Central Asian regions were evaluated as part of the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme
 
“This year over 120 banks and financial institutions in 23 countries across the region were evaluated as part of the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme. It has become the single most prestigious, comprehensive and anticipated awards programme that recognises the pursuit of excellence amongst retail financial institutions available almost anywhere in the world today,” said Philippe Paillart, Chairman of The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme.
 
The transparent award evaluation process uses a balanced scorecard approach and a comprehensive methodology to evaluate the strength of individual banks’ retail banking businesses that involves extensive research and probing interviews, and taps on the combined experience of a team of experienced researchers.
 
Philippe Paillart, formerly vice chairman and CEO of DBS Bank and a pioneer in the retail banking industry in the Asia Pacific region, added: “The Asian Banker Excellence Programme was instituted in 2001 on the premise that an outstanding player in the retail financial services industry should build business franchises that are sustainable, competitive and profitable over a period of time.”

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