China Banking Corporation: Innovating products to add more value to clients

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China Banking Corporation (China Bank) was founded in 1920 with the initial aim to cater to the needs of Chinese-Filipino businessmen. Established as the first privately owned local commercial bank in the Philippines, it has played a vital role right after the country was recovering from World War II by supporting businesses and entrepreneurs in critical industries.

It was in 1927 when China Bank was listed in the local stock exchange. In 1968, it was known to be the first bank in Southeast Asia to process deposit accounts online. China Bank is also the first Philippine bank to offer phone banking in 1991. Moreover, in the same year, it has also acquired its universal banking license.

“China Bank has an in-depth understanding of the way entrepreneurs and businessmen do business. While maintaining very close multi-generational relationships with the Chinese-Filipino community, we have since expanded the scope of our products and services to cover all market segments as we pursue ways to create greater value for the future,” China Bank told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

To date, China Bank is one of the leading private universal banks in the Philippines. The bank offers a full range of banking products and services to institutional (corporate, middle market/ commercial, SMEs) and individual (retail, mass affluent, high net worth) customers.

China Bank also offers thrift banking; investment banking; insurance brokerage; and bancassurance through its subsidiaries: China Bank Savings, China Bank Capital, China Bank Securities, China Bank Insurance Brokerage, and affiliate Manulife China Bank Life Assurance.

One of the bank’s core strengths is its Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) programs, which are tailored to suit the financial capacity and preferences of those who want to invest their hard-earned money.

According to China Bank, their Trust and Asset Management Group offers an array of UITFs that meet the varying needs and objectives of the Filipino investors. The bank has nine UITF variants of which three are in the Money Market, three are in the Bond, and three are in the Equity fund categories.

China Bank’s UITF offerings are: China Bank Money Market Fund, China Bank Institutional Money Market Fund, China Bank Short-Term Fund, China Bank Intermediate Fixed-Income Fund, China Bank Fixed Income Fund, China Bank Balanced Fund, China Bank Equity Fund, China Bank High Dividend Equity Fund, and China Bank Dollar Fund.

“Clients may opt to invest in the China Bank Money Market or the China Bank Short Term fund if they have a year or shorter time horizon and still wants to have liquidity but better earnings potential than regular savings and time deposits. For clients with a time horizon of at least three years and would like to have a steady income stream and capital preservation, the China Bank Balanced Fund or China Bank Dollar Fund may be the right UITF for them,” China Bank said.

For more aggressive investors who are willing to stay invested for three years or longer and are willing to accept a greater level of risk involving volatility of returns and possible decrease of principal in return for capital appreciation and better long-term results potential, China Bank recommends the China Bank Equity Fund.

As a testament to the quality of the UITF products China Bank is offering, these programs stood out in the market, and gained recognitions and awards.

“Our  UITFs are consistently the best-performing in the industry with eight of its nine funds in the Top 5 Best Performing UITFs since inception as of end of March 2018 (source: The Dollar Fund was even awarded as Best Managed Fund for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017) by the CFA Society Philippines. This is a testament of our commitment to the disciplined investment processes to ensure optimal performance of our UITFs,” China Bank shared.

Recognizing that the investors’ needs and preferences change throughout time, China Bank sees to it that they continue to innovate to make their products and services relevant.

China Bank said that they regularly review their current UITF offerings to see where they can make improvements on and add more value to their clients. In 2017, the bank updated the features of its UITFs to make the Funds more affordable, convenient, and easily accessed.

“We have lowered the initial investment and maintaining amount to P10,000 (from P50,000) and the additional investment amount to P5,000 (from P10,000) making the UITFs more affordable. We have also implemented the Omnibus Participating Trust Agreement (OPTA) where clients sign a single agreement to cover all of their UITF participations. And for easy access, additional investments can now be done via the China Bank Online Banking facility, anytime and anywhere our clients are,” China Bank said.

“China Bank Trust and Asset Management Group will continue to leverage on its expertise and experience in the prudent management of clients funds. In line with the legacy of China Bank, investors can be confident that we will help them achieve their varying needs and objectives. Morever, China Bank also plans to launch new UITF variants to provide clients with more investment options,” the bank added. — Romsanne R. Ortiguero