Shinhan boosting global presence
After cementing its status as the pound-for-pound profit king in the financial services industry, Shinhan Bank is now attempting to leverage its domestic dominance to international markets.
The bank, among Korea’s top-four banking groups along with KB Kookmin, Woori and Hana, recently opened a branch in the Wangjing district of Beijing, China. It was a milestone moment for Shinhan Bank as it was the 60th outlet established outside of Korea.
It is Shinhan’s 13th outlet in China, one of the major growth destinations targeted by company CEO Suh Jin-won.
By expanding its business units to emerging economies and aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) here, Shinhan Bank is determined to step up as an influential force in global finance.
While the low-hanging fruits are fast-growing Asian nations like China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia, the lender is also looking to expand to mature economies like Japan.
Shinhan’s current international network consists of around 60 business units in 14 countries. It plans to add seven or eight more branches in these countries this year, while exploring further projects in other markets.
The bank is at the core of plans by Shinhan Financial Group, which also controls Shinhan Card and Shinhan Life Insurance, to become a truly global company. The group currently earns around 3 percent of its profit from overseas, but Shinhan Chairman Han Dong-woo has vowed to propel this proportion into double digits.
``Shinhan Bank will offer differentiated services that will provide Chinese consumers a whole new experience and develop our brand reputation in the country. The Wangjing branch will be an important business unit in that regard,’’ said a Shinhan Bank official.
``While our ambitions are to expand globally, we believe our success will depend on providing attentive services to local customers. Striking the right balance is important for us, an objective we dub glocalization.’’
China is considered a potentially lucrative market for Shinhan Bank, which expects to immediate demand for its services to come from the 150,000 Korean-Chinese citizens living in the country.
Last year, it set a new record of 2.12 trillion won (about $1.9 billion) in annual profit, becoming the first Korean commercial bank ever to crack the symbolic 2 trillion won mark.
Robust earnings at the bank as well as solid performances of non-banking units Shinhan Card and Shinhan Capital allowed the Shinhan Group to post 3.1 trillion won in profits last year, easily higher than any other financial group here.