I love talking to Chinese and Indian banks, just by the sheer drama of hearing their numbers.
For example, I talked with State Bank of India this week. They have:
- 150 million customers
- 11 million High Net Worth customers who earn >US$10,000 per month
- Increased their ATM network from 12,000 to 20,000 units over the past year
Surprisingly, they only have 3.5 million internet banking users and, having released mobile access to the bank in December 2008, only 240,000 mobile banking customers. Admittedly, the latter is growing at 35,000 customers per month, but it is low.
I'm sure those numbers will change over time anyways, as more rural customers come onstream via mobile payments, like the M-PESA style revolution taking place in Kenya. Oh yes, btw, not sure if you spotted it but M-PESA is now a fully-fledged banking service.
That's an aside however, when you think of the sheer scale of the Chinese and Indian banks.
For example, China has 200 banks that each have more customers than the UK's largest bank (Lloyds has 30 million customers) and China's banks are also the most attractive for investment right now. For example, according to the most recent Financial Times Global 500 firms by market capital, the Top Three Banks are Chinese, whilst ICBC and China Construction Bank now feature as Two of the Top Six firms globally.
Oh, the times, they are a-changing …