An employee of Ping An Bank addresses queries from a visitor at a finance exhibition in Haikou, Hainan Province.
Ping An Bank, a unit of Ping An Insurance Group, is teaming up with other units of the group to further tap the retail market this year, its chairman Xie Yonglin said on Thursday.
The bank had "satisfactory" results in the development of its retail business in 2017. Operating revenue of the business grew 41.72 percent year-on-year to approximately 46.69 billion yuan (.4 billion) in 2017, accounting for 44.14 percent of its total revenue.
And net profit generated by the retail sector showed even stronger growth, surging 68.32 percent on a yearly basis to about 15.68 billion yuan last year, accounting for 67.62 percent of the bank's total net profit.
The achievements were attributed, partly, to the company's efforts in promoting technology and working closely with other units in the group, especially with the life insurance units, Xie said.
However, Xie noted in remarks at the bank's 2017 annual results news conference in Shenzhen that the operation of its retail business needs further improvements.
"For example, although growth of total individual deposits has shown a good performance in the industry, the base is not big enough," he said.
The Shenzhen-based commercial bank recorded roughly 340.99 billion yuan in total individual deposits as of the end of 2017, rising 26.76 percent from a year earlier.
According to Xie, the company is exploring more ways to consolidate the business operations to upgrade the retail business. "Ping An's auto insurance business has been witnessing good growth. This is something that will benefit us. So it makes sense to have synergy in group operations."
He added that healthy growth of leverage for individuals is conducive to promoting a consumption-driven economy and therefore, "supporting people's normal consumption demand should be encouraged". But he also cautioned that the banking industry should pay attention to the use of capital to avoid risks.
The operating revenue of Ping An Bank witnessed a downturn, declining 1.79 percent year-on-year to 105.79 billion yuan in 2017. The bank recorded 12.01 percent annual growth in operating revenue the previous year.
Net profit, meanwhile, grew 2.61 percent to about 23.19 billion yuan in 2017, slowing down from 3.36 percent.