Corporate Banking

A showcase of corporate strength

by Grace Chan

Nancy Chan, deputy general manager
Bank of Communications Co Ltd, Hong Kong Branch
Photo: Wallace Chan

Global commercial banking partner to beef up innovation competence for the Shanghai World Expo

A global spotlight is about to be cast on Shanghai. On 1 May, the Expo 2010 Shanghai China will open its doors to the world.

Working alongside the Expo is the Bank of Communications (BOCOM), the event's global commercial banking partner. Targeted at the Expo's diversified groups of clients, the BOCOM has been customising an array of innovative financial products and services in line with the Expo's theme of innovation in science and technology.

"Despite our heritage, BOCOM has always been dynamic and forward thinking," says Nancy Chan, deputy general manager, Bank of Communications Co Ltd, Hong Kong Branch. "Being selected as the Expo's global partner has further confirmed our international status while being the only mainland national bank headquartered in Shanghai," she says.

Since 2007, BOCOM has tailored an array of financial and banking services for everyone involved with the Expo, including the organisers, staff, Expo participants and visitors. The suite of products and services ranges from protection-oriented wealth management to convenient financing services, innovative financial advisory services and private banking services. A special training programme has been put in place for bank staff who volunteer their services during the Expo.

Modern innovation

The Hong Kong branch of BOCOM has been creating buzz in Hong Kong, while at the same time the bank is able to underline its innovative capabilities.

"Keeping abreast with the latest technologies and assimilating our banking services with various modern electronic platforms like the internet have always been our bank's forte. We also attach great importance to green awareness," Ms Chan stresses. "Aligning with the marketing promotion initiatives for the World Expo 2010, we aim to further enhance our strong foothold as a virtual bank in Hong Kong," she adds.

One recent initiative was the installation of a mega LED display on the rooftop of the Bank of Communications Tower in Causeway Bay, which marked the 50-day countdown to the World Expo 2010. "We have devoted our utmost effort to call Hong Kong citizens' attention to this global event," Ms Chan notes.

In a bid to facilitate internet searches about the World Expo 2010, the bank added a hyperlink on its website to the official Expo website. "As the Expo's opening is approaching, we will provide smart tips for our clients who want to visit the World Expo and travel around in Shanghai," Ms Chan reveals. "In doing so, we can foster closer ties with them."

Besides this, the bank's website has been updated with a number of innovative functions. Through a variety of electronic channels such as mobile appliances, the internet and other multimedia devices, the bank's clients can now access banking and financial services worldwide with a single username and password. They may also transfer funds between banks via the internet by using an SMS one-time password.

Responsibility at heart

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, BOCOM launched its first gift card in 2008 to an overwhelming response from clients. This year, a new Shanghai Expo Gift Card is being initiated by BOCOM's Hong Kong Branch. "Not only is this gift card the first to adopt the Expo theme, it is also the world's first signature-based China Unionpay Gift Card," Ms Chan explains.

With the clients' best interest in mind, the bank has replaced the login password with a signature confirmation in order to facilitate the greatest convenience during transactions. "More importantly, the gift card is itself a collectable item and made of environmental friendly material," she says.

Alongside business related initiatives, BOCOM regards the partnership with the Expo as part of a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). "CSR concepts remain central to our vision,"

Ms Chan points out. "As a socially responsible company, we seek to educate people of all ages and from all social strata about our wealth management concepts via different activities."

In a host of initiatives, the BOCOM participates in many youth and mega events that break down the borders between work and family. Last December, the bank sponsored the first BOAO Youth Forum held in Hong Kong, and other worthwhile activities that promoted a happy family environment.

The bank spares on efforts in working actively with the community. Initiatives have included branch visits for primary school students who learnt about mechanisms behind ATMs and the bank's counter service. To update investors with the latest market trends and financial knowledge, a number of complimentary workshops and investment seminars are also on the agenda.

As all the bank's staff volunteer for community service, their efforts are posted on the company's intranet to recognise their contribution. "Our staff formed volunteer teams and pay regular visits to elderly homes and to schools of rural villages on the mainland. Through these experiences they achieve personal growth," Ms Chan remarks.

Considering the positive outlook of the wealth management market, Ms Chan believes the bank will be better positioned as a result of the marketing initiatives with the Expo. "We'll continue to seek opportunities to grow our branch network as well as our manpower," she says.

Stronger foothold

  • Innovative initiatives underscore bank's strengths
  • World Expo marketing activities help foster client relations
  • Commitment to a global partnership
  • Staff engaged in community services

Taken from Career Times 23 April 2010, A6

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