The most notable contrast between Chinese and US Banks would have to be the way they compete for customers. We were fortunate to one of the branch offices of SPD bank in Tianjin, where we were allowed to visit the VIP customer rooms. The services they offer would be comparable to the private wealth management services in the US, but the ancillary services they offer clients are definitely unmatched in the US. The VIP rooms were very lavished and clients were served wine and food. One of the managers there also told us that it would be common to win clients by buying them gifts and offering exceptional services beyond the scope of financial products. In the US, these gifts of course would be considered bribes and under the SEC highly illegal. Yet the lack of corporate governance in China allows banks to compete for customers in this realm. I do not believe it is a bad thing to compete for customers in this way, especially when these efforts to provide superior services to VIP clients produces a better banking experience for the customers. Additionally, it appears that Chinese banks attempt to compete on an image basis by flexing their corporate excess. Having lavish buildings and decorated entry ways symbolizes the strength of the bank and perhaps the quality of its name.
Chinese Banks (SPD Bank Tour)
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