Comprehensive SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank – A Multinational Chinese Banking Company

Updated on: Jan 12, 2022
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Formerly we discussed the SWOT analysis of U.S. Bank, let us now throw some light on the SWOT analysis of ICBC Bank – One of the top-rated banks in the world. 

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is a joint-stock bank built in the People’s Republic of China. ICBC pulled ahead of Barclays Plc to become the world’s largest bank by total equity in 2007, which was again retained in 2019. ICBC has opened its branches outside of China through mergers and acquisitions, also by registering outlets in foreign countries

ICBC follows certain values to hold their standards by giving professional quality services to their customers and maintaining the same service all over the world. 

To open branches in every foreign country and gain people’s trust. ICBC has some amazing digital marketing strategies to learn from to upgrade your knowledge and skills for your personal growth. Interested in knowing some amazing techniques of digital marketing? Check out our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

Want to know more about what exactly ICBC is known for and how it became one of the best banks in the world? We got you all covered. In this blog, we’ll be deeply focusing on the SWOT analysis of ICBC Bank, the services they provide, their competitors, and much more.

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About ICBC Bank

SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank - Jiang Jianqing - The Founder of ICBC Bank
(Jiang Jianqing – The Founder of ICBC Bank, Source: Wikipedia)

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was founded as a limited company by Jiang Jianqing in 1984. It’s a multinational Chinese Company ranking as the leading bank in the world. ICBC Standard Bank is a specialist, offering commodities, fixed income and currencies products with a determined idea of emerging markets and commodities in global marketing. 

ICBC Bank also trades and sells its commodities, including base metal, precious metal, energy and bulk commodities. It also offers foreign exchange services in commodity and emerging market currencies. The bank has offices in the UAE, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India, Russia, Dubai, Doha, Sydney, New York and many other countries.

In recent years ICBC turnover has increased double what was expected. It has never let down the service and quality they provide to each customer and maintained its reputation to not only be China’s No.1 bank but make a mark to be one of the best banks in the world.

Quick Stats on ICBC Bank
Founder Jiang Jianqing
Year Founded 1984
Origin Beijing, China
No. of Employees 453,048
Company Type Public
Market Cap $253.534 Billion (2021)
Annual Revenue CN¥725.12 Billion (2018)
Net Income/ Profit CN¥298.72 Billion (2018)


SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank - ICBC Bank

Product & Services by ICBC Bank

Being one of the oldest bank in the world:

  • Finance and insurance consumer 
  • Loans and credit products
  • Cash management and Treasury service
  • Lending of Equipment 
  • Trade finance

Competitors of ICBC Bank 

Being one the largest banks to be rated in the top 10 in the market, it still has a lot of competitors all over the world. Below are the top competitors of ICBC Bank:

Now that we have seen the history of the company, Let us move to the structured SWOT analysis of ICBC Bank. 

SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank

SWOT analysis of ICBC Bank analyzes its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It deals with two factors: internal and external. Strength and weakness are based on internal factors whereas opportunities and threats rely on external factors of the bank.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of ICBC bank, refer to the infographics below.

SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank - SWOT Infographics of ICBC Bank

Below is a step-by-step detailed guide to help you with the SWOT analysis of ICBC Bank.

Strengths of ICBC Bank

Strengths are the firm’s capabilities and resources that it can use to design, develop, and sustain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • Brand Significance: The bank was the largest in the world by total assets in the years 2017 and 2018. Also, the bank was continuously placed in 1st position in the top 1000 world banks ranking. 
  • Functioning Efficiency: ICBC is one of the foremost in the sector to localize its overseas procedures to improve its functional efficiency. It executed this by maintaining a close alliance with the monetary associations of approximately 20 nations.
  • Strong Customer Base: ICBC has an extended network of banks and customers which gives it a sturdy ground for scaling and income generation. The bank has 17,100+ household branches, 330+ overseas associations, and around 2,000+ correspondent banks globally. It has approximately 5.1 million corporate clients and 465 million individual customers.
  • Various Businesses: Unlike other banks, it has a diversified portfolio of its revenue streams. This enables them not to be dependent on anyone’s service. It has adopted a versatile banking model, along with conventional banking, investment banking, asset management, insurance, and wealth management.
  • Highly Capitalized: ICBC Bank has proven to be a highly capitalized company in the past. It will surely be able to withstand any type of crisis in the future and wouldn’t need to rely on the government during the crisis.

Weaknesses of ICBC Bank

Weaknesses of ICBC can either be an absence of strengths or resources of capabilities that are required but at present, the organization doesn’t have.

  • Weak in Exploring Niche Markets: Niche markets and local monopolies that company’s like ICBC can exploit are fast disappearings. The customer network that ICBC has promoted is smaller and less effective.
  • Declining Per-unit Revenue for ICBC: Competitiveness in the industry is putting downward pressure on profitability. A starting guide to managing this situation for the company is, objectively assessing the present value propositions of the various products.
  • Loyalty Among Suppliers is Low: Given the history of ICBC coming up with innovations to drive down prices in the supply chain.
  • Easily Imitable Business Model: The Business Model of ICBC can be easily imitated by the competitors in the industry name industry. To overcome these challenges company name needs to build a platform model that can integrate suppliers, vendors, and end-users.
  • Need to Invest More in New Technologies: According to the country’s scale of expansion and the geographical areas ICBC Bank needs to invest more funds in technology to coordinate the processes across the board. Currently, the investment in technology is not on par with the vision of the company.

Opportunities for ICBC Bank

Opportunities are potential areas where the firm can identify potential for growth, profits, and market share.

  • The Trend of Customers Migrating to Higher End Services: It represents a great opportunity for ICBC, as the firm has strong brand recognition in the premium segment, and customers have experience with excellent customer services provided by ICBC in the lower segment. It can be a win-win for the company and provides an opportunity to increase profitability.
  • Moderate Growth Rate: Following a moderate growth rate in the business, a financial uptick and increase in client spending provide an opportunity for ICBC Bank to attract new clients and increase its share of the total industry.
  • Customer Preferences are Fast-changing: Driven by rising disposable incomes, easy access to information, and fast adoption of technological services, customers today are more willing to try new services in the market. ICBC has to carefully monitor not only wider trends within the regional banks’ industry but also in the wider financial sector.
  • Beneficial Government Regulations: Increasing government regulations are making it difficult for unorganized players to operate in the regional banks’ industry. This can provide ICBC with an opportunity to increase its customer base.
  • Development of Technology: Since the FinTech industry is growing at a very rapid pace, there are advancements in technologies too. Using these kinds of technologies can increase efficiency and decrease cost.

Threats to ICBC Bank

Threats are factors that can be potential dangers to the firm’s business models because of changes in macroeconomic factors and changing consumer perceptions. Threats can be managed but not controlled.

  • Trade Relation Between US and China can affect ICBC’s Growth Plans: This can lead to a full-scale trade war which can hamper the potential of ICBC to expand operations in China.
  • Competitors Catching up with Product Development: Even though at present the ICBC is still the leader in product innovation in the regional banks’ segment, it is still facing stiff challenges from international and local competitors. 
  • Global Competitors: If ICBC Bank wants to expand their business around the world, they have to be careful of what policies they make or how they provide their services in the foreign market or how they market themselves, where already existing local banks are what the people trust in. 
  • Increased Marketing Efforts: Due to the rise of digital marketing, there is an increasing number of promotional messages which are being sent by competitors. It clutters up the space, which leads to losing out on customers. ICBC Bank is well versed and trying to adopt a variety of the latest digital marketing skills to get ahead of the competition. You must also check out these skills to achieve the same.
  • Environmental Criticism: Global environmental bodies have blamed ICBC for failing to stick to its colonial-environmental norms and of being insincere because it was involved in the financing of the controversial Gilgel Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia.

Now that we have come to the end of this thorough SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank. Let’s see the summation of this article in the conclusion.

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To Conclude

ICBC Bank is a well-known financial services firm with a global reach. The SWOT analysis of  ICBC Bank revealed that the firm is strongly reliant on its consumers and has great brand recognition and trust. It has a strong sustainable foundation and has a presence in all of the areas it services, but profits and losses have been variable in recent years.

With rising competition in a saturated industry like finance, corporations are left to fight it out by improving their marketing efforts to win over their customers. Being well-versed in digital marketing is a requirement for all marketing enthusiasts in today’s shifting scene, where it is of vital significance. If you want to learn more and improve your skills, take a look at our 3 Months Advanced Digital Marketing course where you can learn everything about digital marketing in-depth just like this case study. 

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of ICBC Bank has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can also read our comprehensive study on the SWOT Analysis of JP Morgan Chase.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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