China’s biggest bank has announced the launch of a new fintech research body as part of its “smart bank” strategic drive.
On 4 November the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) announced via the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) the official establishment of the China ICBC Fintech Research Academy (中国工商银行股份有限公司金融科技研究院).
ICBC plans to integrate the operations and management of the new fintech academy with its existing fintech innovation lab.
In future ICBC will make use of a fintech organisational structure consisting of “one department, three centres, one company, one research academy” (一部、三中心、一公司、一研究院).
ICBC said its goal is to “actively use the new fruits of fintech, deeply drive implementation of a smart banking strategy and the bank’s own business model shift; continually increase the digitization and smartness of financial services, and continually strengthen the ability of finance to service the real economy.”
Several months ago the state-owned lender flagged greater investment in fintech as part of efforts to drive its “smart bank strategy.”
As part of this strategy ICBC has also recently stepped up cooperation with Chinese tech giant Tencent, with an especial focus on big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
ICBC’s blockchain research platform recently revealed that it had filed 41 patent applications, after making around 60 technological “breakthroughs.”