Santander has scooped the top honour at
RBI’s industry awards – Retail Bank of the Year. It also
got the award for Best M&A Deal for its swift sale of Banca
Antonveneta in the aftermath of the ABN AMRO takeover. JPMorgan
Chase, UniCredit and Standard Chartered each won regional awards
for excellence.




Spain’s largest banking group had a phenomenal 2007, excelling at
home and abroad as it posted a record profit of €9.06 billion
($14.3 billion), up 19 percent compared with 2006, as well as
playing a key role in the banking industry’s biggest ever M&A
deal – the takeover of ABN AMRO for $103 billion.

According to one awards judge: “Santander got a fantastic deal with
its acquisition of Banco Real, overnight doubling its presence in
Brazil and at a bargain price as well as reporting an impressive
set of results in 2007. All in all a good year.”

At a time when many of its peers posted results ranging from flat
to dire, Santander scarcely put a foot wrong – recognised by the
panel of judges which shortlisted Santander in six of the 15 Awards
categories, more than any other bank.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Its focus on technology and tight cost controls has allowed it to
reduce its efficiency ratio to 44 percent. It is now the
second-largest European bank by market cap, compared with the
fourth-largest at the time of RBI’s last awards ceremony,
as well as the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America,
and the sixth-largest bank in the UK. Overall, Santander now has 65
million customers and 13,000 branches around the world.




JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase, the third-largest US retail banking group in terms
of assets, bucked the near-universal trend for weak US annual
results in 2007 and reported record profits. One member of the
judging panel commented: “JPMorgan Chase is the run-away winner of
the category, a beacon of optimism and confidence in a sea of
gloomy forecasts and depressing annual results.”

JP Morgan Chase’s performance was boosted by organic growth within
its retail arm, Chase, with increases in deposits, checking
accounts and mortgage originations. Chase’s retail banking
highlights included checking accounts totalling 10.8 million, up
844,000, or 8 percent compared with year-end 2006; average total
deposits up 4 percent to $208.5 billion; and mortgage loan
originations at $40.0 billion, up 34 percent year-on-year resulting
in an increased market share of 8.4 percent at year end 2007
compared with 7.2 percent in 2006.

Its credit cards arm reported an outstanding year with credit cards
issued at Chase branches in 2007 up 34 percent to 1.42 million
compared with 1.15 million in 2006.

Chase also overhauled its marketing strategy, launching a major new
ad campaign in an attempt to reposition its brand as a more
customer-friendly organisation, and rolled out a new tag line
‘Chase What Matters’. The new campaign is the first time Chase has
applied the same marketing strategy for all of its retail banking
businesses – credit cards, branch banking, home lending, business
banking, auto finance and student lending.

At the end of 2007, JPMorgan Chase overtook embattled Citi to rank
as the second-largest US bank by market cap – $147 billion, down 12
percent for the year compared to Citi’s $140.7 billion, down a huge
48 percent.



Italy’s largest bank enjoyed an outstanding 2007, a year in which
it joined the premier league of world class international banks,
with over 40 million customers and a branch network of over 9,000
branches across 23 countries.

Not content to be a national champion, UniCredit blazed something
of a trail by being the first bank to promote itself as a new truly
European bank, with strong businesses in Italy, Germany, Austria
and across Central and Eastern Europe, from Poland, Turkey and
Russia to Kazakhstan.

As a result of its booming business in Central and Eastern Europe,
and with scope for a new round of cost-cutting, UniCredit expects
its earnings growth during the next two years to be double the
European average.

In 2007, UniCredit reported an operating profit of €11.8 billion,
up 15.7 percent year-on-year, with revenue up 5.5 percent
year-on-year on a like-for-like basis to €25.9 billion and
operating costs up by only 0.6 percent.

Within the UniCredit group, Central and Eastern Europe and Poland
reported headline-grabbing results, with profits up by 28 percent
and 16 percent respectively year-on-year; private banking posted
strong growth (up 30 percent) while the division which made the
largest contribution to the consolidated results was retail, which
grew 16.4 percent year-on-year.

With minimal subprime exposure, the Capitalia integration is on
track (its second major acquisition in three years after Germany’s
HVB in 2005) and with a growing share of profit derived from
Central and Eastern Europe, UniCredit is well placed to maintain



Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered’s long-stated policy to focus on emerging
markets paid off spectacularly in 2007 as it reported a profits
bonanza, driven by outstanding earnings in Hong Kong and an
impressive performance in its Indian division.

Now the fifth-largest UK-based bank by market capitalisation,
StanChart has grown rapidly in the past few years. A successful
strategy of pushing new products into markets where it had few or
no competitors has paid off; StanChart is now concentrating on
deepening customer relationships and cross-selling products from
the much wider range of services it now offers.

While a number of its rivals dithered about investing in countries
such as Pakistan and Nigeria, StanChart has powered ahead and is
expanding in fast-growing markets including the United Arab
Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In Thailand, which it regards as
one of the most exciting emerging markets, it has said it wants to
increase the number of branches from two to between 20 and 30
within the next three years.

Its Consumer Banking arm delivered strong income growth with
markets such as China, India, Singapore and Malaysia performing
particularly well. With the exception of its South Korean unit –
where net income for 2007 fell 30 percent to $320 million –
StanChart reported its best ever set of results, with pre-tax
profit up 27 percent for the year to $4.03 billion.

Its purchase of American Express Bank, American Express’s private
banking business, whose customers are largely based in emerging
markets, will provide further lucrative opportunities to maintain
its recent impressive growth.



ICICI, India’s largest private sector bank, has said it wants to
become one of the world’s ten biggest financial institutions within
the next six years. Thanks to an aggressive retail banking strategy
in India and, increasingly, abroad (it is now present in 18
countries), it reported a 22.4 percent increase in profit after tax
for fiscal 2007 at INR31.1 billion ($775.1 million) and expects its
overseas business to account for at least a quarter of its balance
sheet in 2008.

Within the bank’s consumer banking arm, net interest income
increased by 32.3 percent to INR56.5 billion while non-interest
income increased by 36.5 percent to INR50.7 billion.

By March 2007, ICICI had more than 25 million retail customer
accounts in India alone. In the past year, it expanded its presence
in the UK, US and Russia and at home invested heavily in its
distribution network, increasing its Indian branch network from 614
in March 2006 to around 900 by the end of 2007.

It continued to expand its electronic channels, updating its online
service and increasing its ATM network to over 3,200 units. During
2007, over 80 percent of customer induced transactions were
conducted electronically.

It rolled out India’s first dedicated m-banking service in February
2008, a serious attempt to bring India’s vast customer base into
the banking mainstream and a product to complement the bank’s
growing branch, self-service and online network.



Commonwealth Bank of Australia

In an attempt to differentiate itself in the Australian market, CBA
launched a major investment in its branch network during 2007, The
Branch Experience Program, with the aim of providing customers with
“a completely new in-branch experience”.

The refurbished branches – 70 will be opened in the first year of
the programme – feature a concierge service with branch staff
greeting customers at the door, before guiding them to an open plan
area, consisting of independent single tellers rather than
traditional counter and separating wall. The branches offer a
dedicated refreshment area, while phone banking access and internet
terminals are also available. Other service options include private
sales offices, self-service change counting machines and

CBA also introduced extended opening hours on Saturdays and
introduced Sunday opening at branches in four states with the aim
of having more full service branches open on a Sunday than any of
its Australian rivals.

Investment in its branch network has already helped to improve
CBA’s customer satisfaction levels, with customer complaints
dropping by 20 percent in the past year and customer satisfaction
ratings of nine out of ten from 90 percent of customers at its
new-style branches.


Bank of America

It is the sheer scale of its distribution network that
distinguishes Bank of America from its US peers, with over 6,100
branches, 19,000 ATMs and more online banking customers than any of
its rivals – 24 million online banking customers out of a total 59
million consumer and small business relationships. Its mobile
banking offering, launched in 2007 – a web-based service accessible
via most mobile networks and requiring no downloading of software –
has got off to a flying start with over 600,000 customers already
signed up to the service.

Its 2007 purchase of LaSalle Bank for $21 billion added an
additional 411 branches and 1,500 ATMs to the Bank of America
network in the Chicago area, Indiana and Michigan (marking BofA’s
entry in Michigan where it now has 256 branches), with the new
branches scheduled to be rebranded to Bank of America during

The proposed $4.5 billion acquisition of Countrywide, the largest
US mortgage provider – it currently operates more than 1,000
branches and has a sales force of nearly 15,000 – will provide a
further boost to BofA’s branch network and provide additional
cross-selling opportunities across its vast customer base. In
particular, BofA will look to gain greater scale in originating and
servicing mortgages in the US; Countrywide had $408 billion in
mortgage originations in 2007 and has a servicing portfolio of
about $1.5 trillion with nine million loans


Capital One

The announcement last year by the diversified US retail banking and
cards giant Capital One of the launch of a decoupled debit card – a
debit card that can be linked to any bank account, with
transactions being routed across the automated clearing house
network – was the most striking product development in 2007.

The card is being marketed to anyone with a current account at any
bank in the US, not just Capital One accountholders. Capital One,
which is no stranger to leading-edge marketing, has been looking
for a way to separate debit cards from current accounts while at
the same time securing customer relationships and may be on to a
winner with this launch. In particular, it believes the
loyalty/rewards funding the new product offers merchant clients
will boost take-up by consumers and lead to customers switching
purchase transactions from their existing debit cards.

A March 2008 report by consultancy Aite Group revealed a sizable
potential market for decoupled debit cards in the US, with about a
third of cardholders polled by Aite expressing interest (see
The ere of the decoupled debit card?



BBVA had a stand-out 2007, reflected by its nomination in five of
the award categories, indicating the broad range of areas where it
excels. Its 2007 results confirmed its strategy is paying off –
including one-off items, profits were up 29.4 percent to €6.1
billion. All four business areas reported improvements during the
year. Its Spain & Portugal unit had its best year ever, lifting
net attributable profit 24.9 percent, while BBVA’s Mexico & USA
division recorded a sharp rise in business activity, with increases
of more than 28 percent in operating profit and net attributable

In its quest for segmentation excellence its BBVABlue campaign,
aimed at the under-30s sector of the market, has targeted 1 million
new young customers by 2010, with Miniblue targeting children aged
up to 13, Blue aimed at customers aged between 14 and 20 and
MasBlue for the 21-29 age group. By August 2007, it had attracted
200,000 customers in the seven months following the BBVABlue launch
and increased revenues from mortgages for young people by 73
percent, reaching a total of €2.5 billion in the same period.

It has continued to cater for Spain’s immigrant communities with
its dedicated branch-led service. And BBVA has also invested
heavily in sport sponsorship, with its support for the Spanish
soccer league’s first and second divisions, the latter being known
as Liga BBVA.



In an era in which banks are becoming increasingly aware of the
commercial opportunities of flagging-up socially responsible
credentials, Rabobank has taken pole position in terms of its
integration of CSR into all aspects of its business. It was the
first big European bank to introduce an ethical range of retail
banking products linked to the environment. In early 2007, it
launched a climate credit card in conjunction with environmental
organisation WWF with a bold aim: to neutralise the purchase of
energy-hungry goods and services by funnelling money into
environmentally friendly projects.

Rabobank says that all of the bank’s 1.1 million credit cards have
now been replaced by the climate contribution card. In 2007 the
bank also introduced the Rabo climate mortgage, which compensates
sustainable home investments through a discount on the mortgage
interest rate.

Its domestic retail banking arm enjoyed an excellent 2007 with net
profit up 24 percent to €1.34 billion. Rabo raised its market share
in mortgages and savings to 28 percent and 41 percent,



Compared to its Australian peers, ANZ has thrown itself
wholeheartedly into a bold, pioneering strategy for overseas
expansion and is now on track to meet its objective of deriving 20
percent of its earnings from Asia-Pacific by 2012, up from 7
percent currently. It has made international forays in the past
year committing approximately A$1.3 billion to investments in Asia,
acquiring an initial 19 percent of Malaysia’s AMB, 20 percent of
China’s Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank, 60 percent of the Vientiane
Commercial Bank in Laos; 10 percent of Vietnam’s Saigon Securities
Incorporation and 100 percent of Guam’s Citizens Security

Its recently appointed CEO Mike Smith, a 29-year veteran with HSBC,
lost no time following his appointment in mapping out ANZ’s plans
to grow its Asian earnings, setting the target of boosting ANZ’s
Asian earnings to a size similar to its New Zealand business.

In 2007, ANZ posted an A$3.92 billion ($3.62 billion) profit, an
increase of 9.4 percent, boosted by a strong retail banking
performance, which registered 16 percent profit growth. Its Asian
profits were up 37 percent to A$172 million.




Since its formation in March 2005, Zopa has carved out a trendy
niche for itself in a growing sector of the market – what it terms
social finance – and has benefited from a topical double whammy:
the current craze for social networking and the global credit
crunch which is driving growing demand for person-to-person (P2P)

Zopa has been described as being like ‘eBay for money’ enabling
creditworthy consumers who’d like to borrow money to get together
with other consumers who are happy to lend it to them. Having
kicked off in the UK, Zopa expanded to the US and Italy and now
plans to set up shop in Japan. In the UK alone, it now has over
190,000 members, arranging more than £20 million ($40 million) in
unsecured personal loans, with average lender returns usually
between 7 percent and 11 percent. Zopa says it also has one of the
lowest loan default rates, at less than 0.2 percent, and says it
avoids subprime borrowers – and risks – by only helping people with
credit scores of A to C. It also spreads risk by lending only small
chunks to individual borrowers: a lender lending £500 or more would
have the money spread across at least 50 borrowers.

Zopa earns its money by charging borrowers a 0.5 percent
transaction fee and lenders a 0.5 percent annual servicing fee and
has enjoyed its success to date without any major marketing spend,
having created a community of consumers who have spread the P2P
message by using word-of-mouth and similar viral techniques.



One of the closest categories when the final votes were tallied in
a year of high profile M&A activity resulted in the
Santander/Antonveneta deal just pipping the RBS-led consortium
transaction to buy ABN AMRO.

While the world’s financial press followed avidly the long-running
soap opera of the battle for ABN AMRO, Santander’s deal to sell on
Banca Antonveneta for €9 billion to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
(BMPS) before it has even taken control of it (see The all-new
) delighted its shareholders and wowed analysts.
The sale represented an instant 60 percent profit, with Santander
estimating it made an instant capital gain of about €3.4

“It was simply an offer we could not refuse,” Santander said at the
time. While it meant that Santander had effectively turned its back
on mass market Italian retail banking, the sale enabled Santander
to cancel its planned €3 billion rights issue to help fund its part

Santander, which was regarded by many analysts as benefiting the
most from the carve-up of ABN AMRO, managed to make a great deal
much better in the opinion of many analysts.


Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase)

Even his harshest critic – and in high profile roles at Citi, Bank
One and JPMorgan Chase, Dimon has had his critics – would concede
that Dimon has had quite a year. He was a convincing winner of the
category – votes having been cast before his high-profile deal to
acquire the beleaguered Bear Stearns.

The media-friendly boxing enthusiast – he is said to have taken up
boxing after he was fired by Citi – scored a knock-out blow with
his confident and surefooted leadership of JPMorgan Chase in a year
in which a number of its major rivals competed with each other to
provide negative headlines and report disappointing results. Dimon
became JPMorgan Chase chairman at the end of 2006 and has been CEO
and president since December 2005, following a spell as president
and CEO of Bank One.

In a year dominated by the US subprime collapse, at times it seemed
Dimon was the only major bank CEO to have avoided the meltdown.
Under his stewardship, Chase also avoided the need to attract
infusions of international cash to shore up its Tier 1


Mike DeNoma (Standard Chartered)

DeNoma is credited with transforming Standard Chartered’s
(StanChart) retail banking arm since he joined in 1999. Over the
past eight years, he has transformed its consumer banking business
through a combination of strong organic growth and recent
acquisitions, including Union Bank in Pakistan, Hsinchu
International Bank in Taiwan, Korea First Bank, Bank Permata in
Indonesia, PrimeCredit in Hong Kong, Grindlays in the Middle East
and South Asia, and the Manhattan card business in Hong Kong.
Between 2003 and 2006, the consumer banking business added 950
outlets, 3,200 ATMs, 2,600 branch sales staff and 4,000 direct
sales force agents. On the back of this growth, liabilities and
assets have more than doubled.

Record results for StanChart in 2007 are just a part of the DeNoma
success story. He has also showed vision and leadership with the
launch of Light a Million Candles, a campaign launched with the
objective of getting people to show their anger about paedophilia
by lighting a virtual candle on an internet site. DeNoma is,
indeed, no stranger to high profile social responsibility
initiatives, having championed StanChart’s much admired Seeing is
Believing project, which reached its fundraising target of $6
million and helped pay for one million sight restorations
Banking for the long term