In 2013, the Bank actively responded to changes in the external environment and continuously pushed forward transformation and structural improvement of corporate banking business by centering on customers and markets, hence maintaining the trend of stable development of corporate banking business. It promoted all-product marketing and comprehensive services, strengthened the connection between domestic and foreign currencies, of home and abroad and between commercial banking and investment banking services and expanded businesses including bond underwriting, asset management, syndicated loans, M&A, entrusted loan and financial leasing, so as to satisfy the demand for diversified financial services of various corporate customers. In addition, the Bank strengthened product and service innovation, advanced the building of differentiated marketing service system, appointed more customer managers and held more training sessions, so as to promote its service for high-quality customers, continuously expand target customer groups, improve customer structure and enhance pricing level. As at the end of 2013, the Bank had 4,735 thousand corporate customers, representing an increase of 357 thousand over the end of the previous year. Among them, 136 thousand corporate customers had loan balances with the Bank. According to statistics from PBC, at the end of 2013, the Bank ranked first in the banking industry in terms of corporate loans and the balance of corporate deposits, with a market share of 11.5% and 12.0%, respectively.
Corporate Deposits and Loans
Facing with economic, financial and regulatory environments and changes in the macro-control policies of China, the Bank strengthened capital constraint and maintained moderate aggregate amount increase and balanced pace of lending. It actively supported reasonable credit demands of the real economy and key national projects under construction and continuing construction. Besides, the Bank increased loans extended to advanced manufacturing, modern service industry, new urbanization area, basic industries, energy and resources, energy saving and environmental protection industries, M&A, agro-related sectors and other areas, and supported the "Going Global" efforts of Chinese-funded enterprises. It strictly controlled credit risks in key areas and total financing amount of overcapacity industries. The Bank also accelerated the upgrading of trade finance business to the model of supply chain finance and actively supported SMEs by innovatively providing financing plans to the electronic supply chain. It promoted the development of resource-supporting structured financing business and "project+financing" business and carried out overseas M&A loan business in fields such as energy, minerals and machinery. The Bank was awarded the title of "Best Corporate Bank in China" by Global Finance. At the end of 2013, the balance of corporate loans reached RMB7,046,515 million, representing an increase of RMB713,937 million or 11.3% over the end of the previous year.
The Bank vigorously expanded new customers, strengthened marketing to industrial chain cluster, urban circle cluster and specific customer cluster, and consolidated its advantages in customer base, hence maintaining stable deposits. It promoted all-product marketing and leveraged on its advantages in diversified financial services such as corporate wealth management, cash management, E-banking and assets custody to sharpen its market competitiveness in corporate deposits business. Responding to interest rate liberalization, the Bank improved its interest rate management system, refined the differentiated pricing mechanism for key customers and enhanced the pricing level for deposits. As at the end of 2013, the balance of corporate deposits amounted to RMB7,503,497 million, representing an increase of RMB595,252 million or 8.6% when compared to the end of the previous year.
Small and Medium Enterprise Business
The Bank was committed to providing professional, efficient and convenient financial services to SME customers. It strengthened services to SME customers by building an independent and complete system of SME credit policies, process and products, giving priority to credit resource allocation and developing elusive institutions. It formulated the special credit plan for small enterprise customers, enhanced the level of refined management and steadily expanded the credit market of small and micro enterprises with controllable risks. In addition, the Bank enriched its system of small enterprise financing products by introducing pilot medium and long-term credit products such as commercial housing mortgage loans and property building loans to small enterprises, and designing for scenic spot developers the "tourism loans" product supported by right to charge in scenic spots. It took the lead in introducing the "Easy Loan Corporate Card" business for small and micro enterprises which was guaranteed by POS card swiping income, and providing unsecured petty credit loans to small and micro enterprises. The Bank was granted "Advanced Unit of National Banking Financial Institutions to provide Financial Services for Small and Micro Enterprises" by CBRC and "Outstanding Contribution Award in Financing of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" by China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. As at the end of 2013, the balance of loans to small (micro) and medium-sized enterprises reached RMB4,386,581 million, of which, the loans to medium-sized enterprises reached RMB2,516,812 million and loans to small and micro enterprises stood at 1,869,769 million.
The Bank made active efforts to satisfy the financial service demand in people's livelihood, improved the systems of five service platforms, namely, social insurance, housing allowance, finance, education and medical care, and refined its integrated financial service plan. It successfully obtained the qualification of lead underwriter for local government bonds of many provinces or cities, advancing the development of businesses of bond underwriting and management of fund raised in bond issue. The Bank enriched bank-to-bank cooperation by actively carrying out cooperation in inter-bank foreign currency payment within China, financial bonds underwriting and other businesses. As at the end of 2013, the number of signed customers for bank-to-bank platform business increased by 114 to 385, and the number of domestic correspondent banks increased by 32 to 173. The Bank strengthened the linkage between internal and external institutions and with other financial institutions, expanded cooperation with securities companies in asset management, underwriting and issuance, securities clearing and other areas, and developed bank-securities business in an innovative manner. It successfully launched overnight trading business for gold futures and innovatively developed account opening appointment of bank-futures transfer business. Securities and futures customers were fully covered. Besides, the Bank carried out diversified marketing to insurance companies and pushed forward all-round cooperation. It reinforced telephone and online marketing for insurance and corporate life insurance products, and was the first among peers to sell insurance products through self-service terminals.
Settlement and Cash Management
The Bank implemented the cluster marketing strategy, strengthened the marketing of key products and the building of corporate customer channels, consolidated its advantage in customer size, and improved customer structure. As at the end of 2013, it had 5.71 million corporate settlement accounts, increased by 6.6% over the end of the previous year, and the volume of settlement reached RMB1,731 trillion, an increase of 19.7% over the previous year. The Bank maintained its leading position in business size.
Besides, the Bank expanded its cash management services to the comprehensive area of financial asset management, building a service system structured by account trading management, liquidity management, supply chain finance and investment and wealth management. It actively expanded global cash management customers such as large transnational enterprises. Additionally, the Bank built a brand system centering "Caizhi Account" and enhanced the market influence of cash management business. It was awarded "Best Cash Management Bank in China" by The Asian Banker and The Asset. At the end of 2013, the Bank had 965 thousand cash management customers, representing an increase of 18.7% from the end of the previous year. The global cash management customers reached 3,813, representing an increase of 14.4%.
International Settlement and Trade Finance
Leveraging on its advantages in local and foreign currency resources and close interaction between domestic and overseas branches, the Bank enhanced its services to import and export enterprises. Besides, the Bank enriched product categories of international settlement and international trade finance. It improved the remittance product system, innovatively launched the Western Union Remittance Internet Banking receiving/paying business, and successfully introduced the Sigue Money Transfer business, hence improving the function of ICBC quick remittance products. In addition, the Bank enriched the external guarantee product line by innovatively launching "Insurance-Finance Link" products. The Bank participated in cross-border RMB innovation pilot construction in many regions including Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Khorgos Xinjiang and QianhaiShenzhen and handled initial launch of various businesses such as RMB bi-directional fund pool and overseas RMB lending. The "ICBC Cross-border Express" product system was improved and RMB cross-border innovative products such as Direct Financing Express, agreed-upon payment and structural financing were launched. The Bank promoted the structural adjustment of international business customers and carried out level-based marketing and category-based management. In2013, domestic branches disbursed an aggregate of USD173.7 billion in international trade finance. The transaction volume of international settlement reached USD2,333.8 billion, representing an increase of 21.2%. The transaction volume handled by overseas institutions reached RMB736.7 billion, increased by 37.9%.
The Bank actively provided diversified financing services to corporate customers and offered outstanding investment products to high-net-worth customers. The rendering of restructuring and M&A services supported industrial structure adjustment of real economy and "Going Global" of Chinese-funded enterprises. The volume of restructuring and M&A transactions handled by the Bank exceeded RMB200 billion in 2013. The Bank, through its equity financing businesses such as private placement and capital financing of key construction projects, served strategic emerging industries and supported the State's key construction projects and regional economic growth. In 2013, the financing size of leading equity financing banks during their existence amounted to RMB36.8 billion. The Bank also expanded financial consulting services including structured financing, debt restructuring and project recommendation. It strengthened R&D of investment banking products and E-service channel construction of investment banking, held investment banking forums and took other actions to diversify service forms and lifted consulting & advisory service level. Furthermore, it expanded bond underwriting business and underwrote various debt financing instruments worth RMB309.4 billion in 2013. Therefore, the Bank was awarded the "Best Bank in Investment Banking" by Securities Times for five consecutive years. In 2013, the investment banking income was RMB29,486 million, representing an increase of 12.9% from the previous year.
In 2013, in face of accelerated interest rate liberalization, rapid development of internet finance, increasingly fierce market competition, the Bank continued to carry out its "strong personal banking" strategy to advance the transformation of personal banking operation. It extended and improved customer base by constantly exploring new markets and new customers. It also expanded the commodity exchange market based on its ICBC Merchant Friend Club platform. Besides, the Bank further promoted the interactive corporate and private banking mechanism to improve mass and cluster client marketing. It actively explored such livelihood fields as social insurance, health care and transportation and carried out marketing to law offices, accounting firms and other customers. Relying on the star-class services for personal customers, the Bank improved its ability in identifying, obtaining and serving quality and active customers. In addition, the Bank continued to upgrade its service channels, enhanced self-service banking construction and devoted more resources in self-service equipment. It initiated the project of intelligent branches and extended its services to the commodity trading market, major county regions and other emerging regions. What's more, the Bank actively carried out product innovation and sharpened its competitive edge of personal banking business, securing its leading position among peers in terms of personal deposits, personal loans, banking wealth management and credit card business. The Bank was awarded the "Best Retail Bank in China" by The Asian Banker for the fourth time. As at the end of 2013, the Bank had 432 million personal customers, including 8.74 million personal loan customers, representing an increase of 38.71 million and 0.95 million from the end of the previous year, respectively. According to statistics from PBC, as at the end of 2013, the Bank ranked first in the industry in terms of both the balance of personal deposits and personal loans, with a market share of 15.5% and 13.5% respectively.
The Bank further promoted coordinated marketing of corporate banking and personal banking, introduced the comprehensive financial service system of "ICBC Salary Manager" based on characteristics of different personal customer groups of payroll payment agency service, and cemented the basis for personal deposits growth. Adapting to the trend of interest rate liberalization, the Bank promoted sophisticated management of interest rate. It also continuously consolidated its channel advantages and improved service level, attracting and retaining customers with quality products and services. Besides, the Bank attached greater importance to the sales of personal wealth management products and promoted the coordinated interaction and development of wealth management products and personal deposits. At the end of 2013, the balance of the Bank's savings deposits amounted to RMB6,895,839 million, representing an increase of RMB341,552 million or 5.2% from the end of the previous year, of which personal demand deposits increased by 6.9% and personal time deposits increased by 3.9%.
The Bank continued to promote the steady development of personal loan business. It strictly implemented differentiated housing credit policy, actively developed personal housing loan business on the premise of controllable risks, and supported residents to buy their first houses. Meeting new consumption needs, the Bank innovatively promoted the "Easy Loan" product to propel personal consumption loan business. As at the end of 2013, the Bank's personal loans reached RMB2,727,601 million, increased by RMB440,498 million or 19.3% over the end of the previous year, of which personal housing loans increased by RMB379,644 million or 28.3%.
Personal Wealth Management
Relying on the star-class services for personal customers, the Bank expanded target customers by carrying out precision marketing through diversified channels. It promoted the use of Elite Club Account chip cards by bringing into play its advantages in chip card research & development and handling facility. The Bank also actively carried out "Wealth Cultural Tour" activities and built a platform for marketing, services and cultural exchanges for wealthy customers, hence maintaining stable customer growth. In addition, the Bank appointed more personal customer managers to provide better service. The number of employees with certificates of Associate Financial Planner (AFP) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) was 25,328 and 3,857 respectively, securing the leading position in the banking industry. As at the end of 2013, the number of Elite Club Account customers reached 26.83 million, representing a growth of 31.4%. The number of wealthy customers amounted to 4.40 million, increased by 9.5%.
The Bank provided high-net-worth customers with RMB8 million or more personal financial assets with exclusive private banking services including asset management, alternative investment, fully entrusted business, consulting, financial management, cross-border financing and wealth inheritance. It accelerated the layout of personal banking products and services to cover all national markets of high-end customers. It also promoted basic financial services of personal banking at mobile banking, internet banking and other platforms. The Bank regarded the Private Banking Center (Hong Kong) as its global product research & development center, and proactively expanded overseas business through its regional centers, namely, Hong Kong, Europe, Singapore and the Middle East. In 2013, the Bank was awarded Best Private Bank in China by domestic and overseas media including Asia Banker, The Asset and Securities Times. At the end of 2013, the Bank had a pool of over 31.3 thousand private banking customers and managed RMB541.3 billion worth of assets.
Bank Card Business
The Bank accelerated expanding new markets, upgraded service, and enhanced product innovation in its bank card business. It effectively integrated bonus points of credit card and debit card, further consolidating its leading position among peers by taking the lead in launching the integrated bonus point service of personal banking business. By the end of 2013, the Bank had issued 580 million bank cards, representing an increase of 110 million cards from the end of 2012. Annual consumption volume of bank cards stood at RMB5,772.4 billion, representing an increase of 39.7% from the previous year. Income from bank card business amounted to RMB28,533 million, representing an increase of 21.4%.
• Credit Card Business
The Bank boosted credit card product innovation to promote the volume and quality of card issuance through diversified channels. It launched new products including Global Travel Card. It also speeded up expansion into the premium card market such as platinum card and black card markets, and increased the issuance volume of business cards. Besides, the Bank issued Diners Club Card, becoming the first bank in the world partnering with six major international credit card organizations in card issuing and acquiring. It continuously boosted the acquiring business and expanded emerging acquiring services such as small-value quick payment. In addition, the Bank carried out bonus point redemption events with new themes and forms of bonus point activities. It launched SMS installment payment business to meet customers' demand for convenient financing. The Bank also vigorously developed installment payment business for the purchase of cars, household electrical appliances, general merchandise, education, travel and culture. The bank maintained high quality telephone customer service for credit card, and launched WeChat customer service, diversifying self-service channels. In 2013, the Bank was granted many awards including "Most Popular Credit Card of the Year" by Tencent for its credit card services, "Best Credit Card Marketing Award" by jrj.com and "Best Credit Card of the Year" by Money Week. At the end of 2013, 88.05 million credit cards were issued, representing an increase of 10.92 million from the end of 2012; the consumption volume stood at RMB1,613.5 billion, representing an increase of 23.9% from the previous year; total credit card loans amounted to RMB307,135 million, representing an increase of RMB62,243 million or 25.4%. The Bank led the peers in terms of volume of cards issued, consumption and loans.
• Debit Card Business
To accelerate product and service innovation, the Bank enhanced card application efficiency by quick debit card issuing machine. It actively issued chip debit card, upgraded magnetic stripe card, and issued single chip debit card with eID, Cool Pass debit card and China Travel Debit Card. At the end of 2013, the Bank issued approximately 490 million debit cards, an increase of 98.02 million cards from the end of the previous year. Annual consumption volume reached RMB4,158.9 billion, increased by 47.0%.
[Financial Asset Services]
Seizing the market development opportunities of universal asset management era in the financial industry with co-existence of cross-industry competition and cooperation, and integrating the Group's advantages in wealth management, custody, pension and precious metal businesses and the functions of diversified subsidiaries specialized in investment banking, fund and insurance, etc., the Bank quickened the establishment of an integrated business operation system covering China, foreign countries and across different areas, and set up a full-market, full value chain universal asset management platform for all types of customers in a bid to meet their diversified requirements for allocation of financial assets and built up the market leading superiority.
Wealth Management Services
As the nature of asset management is to "manage assets of customers as entrusted", the Bank energetically enhanced the capability of investment management and asset allocation following the trends of social financial asset migration, the changes of customer requirement and financial innovation. It precisely standardized product design, sales and fund orientation, and properly disclosed information in strict accordance with regulatory requirements on normative investment operation of wealth management business to propel the well-regulated, healthy and orderly development of wealth management business. The accelerated establishment of customer classification management and segmented marketing mechanism completely covered all types of customers including individuals, private banking customers, companies and institutions. Customized personal wealth management products were issued to new markets, focused areas and specific customers in order to increase the percentage of quality customers. The Bank also researched and developed wealth management products for the convenience and benefit of people and provided services to low and medium-end customers for their asset value preservation and appreciation. It customized competitive product solutions for corporate customers such as public welfare funds, pension customers and insurance companies. On the basis of consolidating advantages of traditional marketing channels, the Bank actively promoted internet banking, E-shop platform, mobile banking and other electronic sales methods, to enhance the convenience for the purchase of wealth management products. Meanwhile, the Bank strengthened cooperation with securities companies by advancing the development of agent sales channel called "Bank-Security Link" to expand customer service scope.
In respect of project investment, the Bank carried forward credit asset transfer, direct financing tool of wealth management, privately raised bonds of SMEs and asset securitization business. The Bank also launched the programmes of investment in innovative projects such as asset management scheme with securities companies and ICBC Credit Suisse Investment.
In respect of product innovation, the Bank optimized the term structure of constant-return products and introduced new product series named Zeng Li and Zun Li. The Bank also offered products linked with en primeur and Tibetan tea to diversify alternative investment products. Thanks to the use of quantitative strategy, it successfully issued the product series named "Prosperity PIPE Product (Private Investment on Public Offering)" and "Prosperity FOF (Fund of Fund)". To explore international development, it issued the first asset management product raising funds abroad through QFII and RQFII. In 2013, the Bank was awarded the "Best Banking Wealth Management Brand in China" by the Securities Times and the "Annual Best Premier Wealth Management Bank" by China.org.cn. The total issuing of wealth management products amounted to RMB5,785.4 billion, of which the sales of personal wealth management products and corporate wealth management products was RMB4,381.7 billion and RMB1,403.7 billion, respectively.
Asset Custody Services
To build up the advantages in custody services of capital market, the Bank strived to develop new custody services including constant-return fund products, ETFs and pension products while attracting big quality fund companies, medium and big insurance companies and big enterprise groups successfully through marketing. The Bank put efforts into sound development of global custody services and boosted the construction of Global Custody Asia-Pacific Center. As a result, it had eight new overseas QFII custody customers and 21 new RQFII custody customers. Besides, the Bank actively developed custody services in people's livelihood area and debuted custodies of charity funds, public fiscal resource trading funds, stock house trading funds, public funds for housing maintenance and commodity house presale funds. The Bank also actively carved out emerging custody service market. It got approval to put China's first enterprise annuity pension product under custody, took the lead in serving outsourced middle and back-office businesses of fund companies, launched the bills asset custody service and entered into custody agreements with many futures companies. The Bank was recognized as the "Best Custodian Bank in China" by the Global Finance, the Global Custodian and The Asset. At the end of 2013, the total net value of assets under the Bank's custody reached RMB4,621.3 billion, representing an increase of 16.8% from the end of the previous year.
Leveraging on full business license qualification and integrated competitive edges, the Bank attempted to build a comprehensive pension service system consisting of enterprise annuity, occupational annuity, basic pension, various social security funds, comprehensive old-age security fund of enterprises and public institutions and personal pension fund. It optimized the integrated enterprise annuity scheme "Ruyi Pension Management" to provide standardized and specialized annuity management service for SMEs. It also actively promoted a series of welfare schemes and pension management products named "Ruyi Benefit Plan" to meet the needs of enterprises and public institutions for managing pension, housing, medical care and other welfare funds and deferred salary incentive funds. At the end of 2013, the Bank provided pension management services for 39,275 enterprises, representing an increase of 5,135 from the end of the previous year. The pension funds under the Bank's trusteeship amounted to RMB54.6 billion; the Bank managed 12.38 million individual pension accounts, and the pension funds under the Bank's custody totaled RMB284.8 billion. The Bank led other banks in terms of the scale of enterprise annuity funds under the Bank's trusteeship, number of individual enterprise annuity accounts and enterprise annuity funds under the Bank's custody.
Precious Metal Business
The Bank responded actively to the shocking and recessive precious metal market, accelerated precious metal business structural adjustment and product innovation and sustained fast growth of precious metal business. It zealously introduced a series of high value-added thematic products with historical and cultural significance to serve the requirements of customers for upgraded consumption and opened new channels of physical precious metal sales through cooperation with E-shops. The Bank enabled corporate transaction functions such as Gold Accumulation and agency precious metal T+D trading, whereby the requirements of corporate customers for asset allocation were met. Besides, the innovative products including gold swap and silver leasing further satisfied the hedge and preservation requirements of industry chain enterprises. 17 issues of "Enjoy Returns-Gold Arbitrage Investment Oriented RMB Wealth Management Products" were made to diversify varieties of wealth management products. In 2013, the total amount of precious metal business increased by 20.2% compared to the previous year to RMB1.31 trillion. The Bank cleared RMB387.3 billion on behalf of Shanghai Gold Exchange, representing an increase of 52.1% over last year. The Bank remained the winner of the "Best Precious Metal Trading Bank in China" from the Euromoney.
Franchise Treasury Business
The Bank consolidated and expanded the base of foreign exchange purchase and sales customers and promoted the building of foreign exchange outlets. Currently, it has 24 quotation currencies, leading the other domestic banks. What's more, it diversified its foreign exchange trading products line by introducing Paper Foreign Exchange and corporate internet banking foreign exchange trading. The volume of franchise foreign exchange purchase and sales and foreign exchange trading amounted to USD528.7 billion, representing an increase of 10.3% compared with the previous year. To make innovation in paper precious metal business, the Bank launched the functions including change paper precious metals to physical precious metals and pledge of paper precious metals and was the first in China to introduce franchise paper crude oil trading business. The franchise commodity trading types were enriched, completely covering five types of commodities including base metals, precious metals and energy. Seizing the opportunity of inter-bank bond market investor increase, the Bank launched marketing campaigns actively and conducted bond trading and settlement business on an agency basis. It focused upon exploring customer requirements for foreign exchange hedging in the medium and long term and innovatively introduced franchise risk management product in the exchange rate category to enhance market competitiveness. The Bank was named the "House of the Year (risk management and derivatives transactions), China" by Asia Risk.
Asset Securitization Business
To further adjust credit structure, diversify asset and capital management means and actively promote operational transformation, the Bank originated a credit asset securitization project worth RMB3,592 million on 27 March 2013. Corporate loans were the underlying assets of this project in which the Bank served as originator and lending services provider. Besides, ICBC (Argentina), a subsidiary of the Bank, originated three issues of traditional asset securitization products in 2013.
In response to market developments and customer requirements, the Bank paid greater efforts to attract new customers and develop a diversified products line. Agency sales of funds and assets management products of securities companies increased by 16.7% from last year to RMB888.1 billion, continuing to be No. 1 in the industry. Moreover, the Bank leveraged on the stable return of government debts to explore customers with low risk appetite in advanced county areas and economically strong townships and conducted agency sales of RMB83.0 billion worth of government debts, representing an increase of 38.2% compared with the previous year and continuously maintaining its first place in market share. It also sold RMB84.5 billion worth of insurance products on an agency basis through such channels as internet banking and self-service terminals.
In 2013, facing the complicated financial environment, the Bank aimed at enhancing its profitability through product innovation, timely adjustment of investment and trading strategy, capital operation optimization, management improvement and business risk prevention, and realized healthy development in asset scale and efficiency.
Money Market Activities
In 2013, money market kept fluctuating and the interest rate rose obviously. The Bank conducted a flexible operation and improved fund returns to satisfy the liquidity management. The liquidity team made greater efforts to borrow more from the inter-bank market and lengthened the terms to ensure liquidity safety during tightened period, and actively granted loans during loose period. In 2013, domestic trading amount in the inter-bank market was RMB15.33 trillion, of which lending amounted to RMB8.98 trillion.
In respect of foreign currencies, the money supply in the domestic foreign exchange market was tight but stable. The Bank strived for raising fund returns on the premise of guaranteeing liquidity safety. It arranged term structures reasonably when the money supply was ample and borrowed foreign exchange funds actively when the money supply was intense in order to keep liquidity safe. In 2013, the Bank's foreign exchange transaction volume in money markets amounted to USD282.8 billion.
In 2013, the yield on RMB bond raised sharply amid fluctuations. Under the strategies of duration shortening and swing trading for trading book investment, the Bank traded short-term debentures mainly and took initiatives to realize gains by the swing trading of interest rate swap. In the year, the transaction volume of RMB bonds in trading book was RMB233.5 billion. In respect of banking book investment, the Bank moderately increased the proportion of investment in quality credit bonds with comparatively high value to optimize the structure of newly investment portfolio. In respect of foreign currencies, amid big fluctuations of international bond market, the yield of the US treasury bonds stayed high after rebounding sharply higher in the middle of 2013, hence the bond prices fell at large. The strategy of "quick entering and exiting & keeping short-term trading" applied to the Bank's trading book. In the year, the total volume of foreign currency bonds in trading book was USD7.7 billion. For banking book investment, the Bank took initiatives to prevent interest rate risk, shortened portfolio duration, increased investments in quality corporate bonds and flexibly adjusted the area of investment to make portfolios safer.
In 2013, the Bank was positive in active liability. To blaze new trails in the pattern and approach of active liability development, it broadened the sources of funds from different channels, with different terms and in different currencies through a variety of active liability instruments, including large-denomination time certificate of deposit (CD) and financial bonds, so as to enhance the support of diversified liabilities to asset business development. On 12 November, the Bank's issuance of RMB2 billion offshore RMB bonds in London marked the first direct issuance of offshore RMB bonds by the headquarters of a domestic financial institution in the London market. Besides, the Bank, as one of the first batch of pilot institutions, successfully issued interbank CDs worth RMB3 billion on 12 December.
[Channels and Services]
Being customer-oriented, the Bank planned for development of various channels and leveraged on the advantage of online and offline channels to build an integrated channel system that enables online and offline integration, whole-process response and consistent experience upon one-point access by customers. It continued to improve the layout of physical outlets and moderately expanded the channel network in key regions, areas with potential and emerging markets. In 2013, 70 domestic outlets were newly put into operation. The Bank also made efforts to upgrade and adjust outlets with low efficiency, especially the outlets with small scale, low productivity and low service capability in old towns and regions lack of resources. In 2013, it completed the upgrading and adjustment of 370 outlets with low efficiency. At the same time, the Bank strengthened the coordinated distribution, complementary functioning and synergic service of physical outlets and self-service banking outlets, by building 2,525 independent self-service banking outlets, enhancing the service level of self-service channels and effectively improving the service capacity of outlets, which continuously enhanced customer satisfaction. By the end of 2013, the Bank had a total of 17,574 domestic and overseas institutions, among which 17,245 were domestic operations and 329 were overseas institutions. Domestic institutions include the Head Office, 31 tier-one branches, 5 branches directly controlled by the Head Office, 26 banking offices of tier-one branches, 401 tier-two branches, 3,075 tierone sub-branches, 13,605 outlets, 40 Head Office-level profitability units along with their directly controlled-institutions and branches, and 61 majority controlling subsidiaries and their branches.
With the focus on IT-based banking, the Bank closely followed the trend of mobile, personalized and intelligent banking, intensified innovation and application of E-banking products and services, and stepped up to build an integrated and open E-banking platform. The Bank took full advantage of the E-banking channel and boosted customer diversion from counter-based businesses. In 2013, personal internet banking customers of the Bank topped 0.16 billion, and mobile banking and personal telephone banking customers successively exceeded 0.1 billion.
The Bank also explored new fields in internet service and vigorously developed its E-commerce banking platform. In addition, it boosted the development of overseas E-banking channel and diversified its product functions, basically covering all overseas institutions of the Bank. The transaction volume of E-banking increased by 14.8% compared with the previous year. The number of E-banking transactions accounted for 80.2% of total transactions of the Bank, representing an increase of 5.1 percentage points from the previous year.
• Internet Banking
The Bank further enriched its internet banking product lines. It put into operation personal internet banking for Windows 8 tablet PC users and new-generation iPad users, and introduced mobile life services accommodating iPad and Android tablet PC, making personal internet banking of the Bank cover all mainstream mobile terminal operating systems. It also introduced "B2C Easy Loan Installment", "Internet Quickpass", agency promissory note issuance via corporate internet banking and many other new products. The Bank was awarded the "Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank in China" by Global Finance for the third time.
• Telephone Banking
The Bank improved its self-service and human-service telephone banking. It upgraded its voice menu and ID login mode, introduced speed-dial service, identification of repeated calls, voice robot and other functions, and strengthened interaction between human-service and self-service channels, further improving the self-service ratio. The Bank promoted the telephone banking product project, making personalized telephone banking products available to customers. It also introduced WeChat banking services which covered basic service functions such as customer service and public information inquiry, providing more convenient and efficient services to customers.
• Mobile Banking
The Bank boosted the innovation and application of mobile banking products by combining the new mobile internet technology, new functions of mobile terminals and new trend of network communication, which enhanced its competitiveness in mobile financial services. It took the lead to introduce general-use USB Key, further improving the universality of safety media and the safety of mobile banking. It combined the queuing system of outlets and positioning system of mobile phones to realize outlet queuing via mobile phone, integrating online and offline services. It also introduced the application of two-dimension code, which made mobile banking more functional and fashionable. The Bank applied the voice recognition technology to mobile banking to provide customers with interactive self service. At the end of 2013, the number of mobile banking customers increased by 49.5% from the end of the previous year.
• Self-service Banking
The Bank intensified its efforts in self-service banking, accelerated the installation of self-service equipment and extended its service channels to new business areas such as the commodity trading markets and major counties. It further upgraded the processing procedures of self-service terminals and increased the business varieties. In addition, the Bank intensified advertising on the functions of self-service equipment as well as customer diversion and guidance for counter-based business, thereby raising the operative efficiency of self-service equipment. At the end of 2013, the Bank owned 21,825 self-service banking outlets, representing an increase of 25.2% from the end of the previous year, and 80,501 ATMs, up 14.7%. The volume of ATM transactions amounted to RMB8,790 billion, up 33.1% from the previous year.
[Internationalized and Diversified Operation]
The Bank steadily advanced internationalized and diversified operation and development and stepped up its financial support "Going Global" enterprises and RMB internationalization. It endeavored to promote the endogenous development of overseas institutions on the basis of its basically-completed global service network. It improved the regional management mechanisms by reinforcing the business supporting, integrated operating and risk control functions of the head offices for regional management and promoting differentiated positioning, mutual advantage complements and coordinated development of regional institutions. In addition, the Bank improved the domestic-overseas integrated operating pattern, strengthened the interaction between domestic and overseas institutions and among overseas institutions and refined the global integrated FOVA function. Information sharing was promoted by optimizing the global information platform.
It also expanded its global key product lines in a collateral and in-depth fashion, including retail banking, E-banking, cash management, asset management and specialized financing. Besides, the Bank expanded cross-border RMB business. The RMB clearing bank in Singapore officially started business and therefore the developing pattern containing cross-border RMB business has taken shape. It also developed its overseas RMB clearing network and stepped up the building of offshore RMB market in the overseas financial centers. In 2013, the volume for cross-border RMB business reached RMB2,166.6 billion, increasing by 40.0%.In terms of overseas institution building, ICBC (Brasil) officially started business, and ICBC (Peru) and ICBC (New Zealand) obtained licenses1. The name of Standard Bank Argentina S.A. was officially changed to ICBC (Argentina). The integration work for ICBC (Argentina) was under steady progress. Besides, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Middle East) Limited was officially transformed into Dubai(DIFC) Branch. The tier-two networks in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada were expanded. The Bank signed the agreement acquiring 20% shares of Bank SinoPac. As at the end of 2013, the Bank has established 329 institutions in 40 countries and regions and indirectly covered 19 African countries as a shareholder of Standard Bank. The Bank also established correspondent banking relationship with 1,730 overseas banking institutions in 145 countries and regions, making its service network covering six continents in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America and Australia and major global financial centers. As at the end of 2013, total assets of overseas institutions (including overseas branches, subsidiaries and investments in Standard Bank) of the Bank were USD209,163 million, representing an increase of USD46,441 million or 28.5% from the end of the previous year, and they accounted for 6.7% of the Group's total assets, representing an increase of 0.9 percentage points. Total loans amounted to USD108,121 million, representing an increase of USD36,238 million or 50.4%, and total deposits were USD74,750 million, representing an increase of USD17.336 billion or 30.2%. Profit before tax during the reporting period was USD2,233 million, representing an increase of 33.5% compared with the previous year.
The Bank improved the interaction mechanism between the Group and its subsidiaries and promoted the professional and characteristic development of comprehensive subsidiaries, hence improving comprehensive services to customers. Leveraging on its advantage as an all-around asset management platform, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management continuously promoted product innovation and realized coordinated growth of size and profits. Grasping the opportunities in policies, ICBC Leasing made greater efforts in business development, actively innovated leasing products to serve the real economy, and therefore further consolidated its leading position in the sector. Seizing the opportunities in China's life insurance market, ICBC-AXA brought into play the channel and resource advantages of its parent bank to vigorously expand bank insurance channel, hence further enhancing profitability. As an overseas platform with the Group holding the investment banking license, ICBC International actively supported large transnational and domestic enterprises to go public in Hong Kong, vigorously developed bond underwriting business and maintained a more stable profit structure.