Sponsored Article
Fulfilling Social Responsibilities amid Covid-19
China Construction Bank reached a milestone in ESG
12 May 2021 | Sponsored Section

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the global economy. There were many uncertainties in the changing pandemic situation at home and abroad and the external environment. CCB proactively shouldered its responsibility as a big bank to support epidemic prevention and control efforts and resumption of work and production.

“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruptive economic and social ramifications, we always put the people first. We supported the global fight against COVID-19 and delivered targeted services for economic re-opening. We contributed to ensure stability on six fronts and maintain security in six areas, supported the development of the real economy, and played our due role in fighting poverty. Through all these efforts, we have stood major tests and opened a glorious chapter in the Bank’s history following the New Finance philosophy.” says Guoli Tian, chairman at China Construction Bank.

It successively launched “10 initiatives” of financial services for epidemic prevention and control, 30 measures to support epidemic prevention and control and to resume work and production, 14 measures to strengthen financial services for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, 26 special measures to support Hubei, and 29 measures to stabilize foreign trade and foreign investment. CCB stepped up efforts to grant credit and granted a total of RMB125.68 billion credit funds to 12,166 key enterprises engaged in epidemic prevention and control. CCB reinforced fee reduction and waiver, offered preferential lending rates to key enterprises engaged in epidemic prevention and control, and helped customers affected by the epidemic to be bailed out through measures like extension of repayment of principal and interest, and extension and renewal of loans. CCB worked with the government to build an “enterprise oxygen cabin” to help enterprises resume work and production, and provided credit support of nearly RMB180 billion for more than 20,000 enterprises.

To ensure smooth business operation, the Bank set up a leading group for epidemic prevention and control without any delay and completed the organizational structure, disposal mechanism and emergency response plan for regular epidemic prevention and control. It intensified the care and safety protection for its staff and ensured sufficient epidemic prevention supplies. It quickly initiated the telecommuting mode under the staff integration platform, used more process robots, and adopted a combination of working modes such as working from home, on shifts and off-peak commuting.

Through online channels, the Bank provided its customers with high-quality and efficient online financial services. By running online consumer credit business such as “Quick Loan”, it offered convenient financing services to personal customers. Relying on the smart government platform, it helped build the national epidemic information dissemination network and launched the “CCB Smart Community Management Platform”, with an aim to facilitate urban and rural communities to foster an “online+offline” three-dimensional prevention and control system. The platform covered 2.46 million communities and enterprises with a total number of users exceeding 51.07 million. CCB made full use of its smart matchmaking platform “CCB Match Plus” where it launched featured sections including “Belt and Road”, “Greater Bay Area” and “China Railway Express” and built 3D digital banking exhibition halls for international exhibitions such as the first online Canton Fair and CIFTIS to manage online exhibition activities and promote cross-border matchmaking. As at the end of 2020, CCB and its employees donated funds and supplies worth a total of RMB317 million to the global fight against the pandemic, including 11.5 million pieces of pandemic prevention supplies.

Focus on Pain Points in People’s Livelihood, Fulfill Social Responsibilities+

CCB actively explored new concepts for the development of green finance. In a bid to become a low-carbon, environment-friendly, sustainable bank that serves the public and improves people’s livelihood, the Bank utilized a combination of financial instruments such as green credit, green bonds, green leases and green trusts and continuously increased financial support in areas including energy conservation and emission reduction, clean energy, clean transportation and pollution prevention and control to extensively support and foster green industries. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s balance of green loans was RMB1.34 trillion, an increase of RMB166.905 billion or 14.20% over the end of the last year.

CCB made the fight against poverty an integral part of its New Finance actions. It increased credit supply to areas of extreme poverty and promoted products such as “Mingonghui” and “Loans to New community factories”. It supported the “one district and three counties” in Ankang City of Shaanxi Province to get out of poverty on schedule, and helped lift 1,370 impoverished villages and nearly 200,000 poor people in other parts of China out of poverty. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s balance of targeted poverty alleviation loans was RMB123.751 billion, an increase of RMB32.245 billion from the previous year. The Bank also actively helped the impoverished through e-commerce consumption and held the “Beyond 2020” series of poverty alleviation marketing activities via e.ccb.com. The annual transaction volume relating to poverty alleviation reached RMB17.080 billion, and the sales of agricultural products from impoverished areas reached RMB2.518 billion. In 2021, CCB will continue to optimize policies and develop innovative products and services in line with local conditions to enhance the stability of poverty alleviation and help translate the results of poverty alleviation effort into an effective impetus for rural revitalization.

With FinTech, the Bank has made great efforts to create the distinctive brand of “Yu Nong Tong”, providing comprehensive services such as smart village affairs, e-commerce, convenience services and financial services for farmers. CCB has given full play to the advantages of the online “Yu Nong Quick Loan” and effectively reduced the financing cost of agriculture-related loans. By the end of 2020, CCB had over 540,000 “Yu Nong Tong” inclusive finance service outlets, through which over 100 million loans were granted to tens of millions of rural households last year. The balance of agriculture-related loans was RMB2.09 trillion, up RMB280.582 billion, or 15.52% over the previous year, and the balance of inclusive finance agriculture-related loans was RMB231.237 billion. The number of agriculture-related loan customers was 2,000,700, with an average loan interest rate of 4.75%, down 0.17 percentage point over the previous year.

“Workers’ Harbours” to the public that served over 140 million people and had over 10.4 million online registered users. It continued to expand its “Worker’s Harbours+” model by teaming up with 780 third-party entities. With CCB University, the Bank carried out “Financial Literacy Promotion - Poverty Alleviation” program that offered trainings to 3.31 million participants, delivering financial knowledge to rural population.

CCB has made great efforts to create a new ecology in inclusive finance and enriched the digital product system by forming a new-model product series of “Quick Loan for Small and Micro Businesses”, “Yu Nong Quick Loan”, “Quick Loan for Transactions” and “Quick Loan for Personal Businesses”. By the end of 2020, CCB’s balance of inclusive finance loans was RMB1.45 trillion, up RMB489.2 billion over the previous year, both the balance and the increase ranking first in the market. The interest rate of newly granted inclusive finance loans to small and micro businesses was 4.31%, down 0.64 percentage point over the previous year. The number of inclusive finance loan customers was 1,700,300, an increase of 375,200 over the previous year. The Bank has launched “Entrepreneurs’ Harbor”, a platform for startups and innovative enterprises. CCB has continuously improved its risk control capability, built an intelligent risk control management system in inclusive finance, and kept the quality of credit assets stable.

Based on the public welfare platform, the Bank helped more people in need and brought positive energy to the society. In 2020, CCB’s charitable donations amounted to RMB449 million, RMB132 million of which went to targeted poverty alleviation. Over 740 livelihood-improving poverty alleviation projects were implemented throughout the year.

In 2020, CCB’s received wide recognition for its operation and service ability from its customers and the market. It won China’s Commercial Bank of the Year in the Wealth and Society Awards 2020 by The Asian Banker and the Best National Bank in the China Retail Banking Awards 2020 by Asiamoney. CCB continued to take the lead in international ranking. It ranked the second of The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks for 7 consecutive years as at the year 2020; the tenth among BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2020 with a brand value of USD21.089 billion; and the 30th among Fortune’s Global 500 in 2020. Its ESG rating was also raised to A by MSCI. CCB’s influence as a big bank was further enhanced.