RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

Trade tensions fail to rattle Chinese banking outlook: survey

Two in 5 bankers believe China’s economy will grow by around 6.5-7%.

Bankers in China are more optimistic about the industry’s development over the next three years underpinned by expectations of China’s sustained economic growth, a study by PwC and the China Banking Association found.

Over a third (39.4%) of bankers expect China’s economy to grow by around 6.5-7% whilst 39.7% forecast a 6-6.5% growth in the next three years. Meanwhile, only 17.2% thinks China’s economic growth will be lower than 6% over the next three years.

“The finding reflects the transformation in China’s economy, from high growth rate to high quality development, and that bankers managed their expectations when the economic development began shifting from a high to a steady growth rate,” the study noted.

Also read: China urges banks to temper lending in January

The survey also found that nearly half (49%) of respondents have substantially increased their investment in banking tech developments and fintech, which is significantly higher compared to the past two years. Moreover, 54% see opportunities instead of challenges amidst the rise of fintech.

Meanwhile, 82% of bankers see labour crunch as a major obstacle to their sector.

“The past decade has been a period of transformative development for the Chinese banking Industry. Further, throughout the period, comprehensive improvement of risk management and control capabilities has been at the core of China's banking industry and the focus of strategic transformation,” Richard Zhu, North China Financial Services Leader of PwC China, noted.

The Chinese Bankers’ Survey is jointly released by PwC and the China Banking Association. It covers macro environment, development strategy, and business development, amongst others. 

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