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GlobalRMB awards: Best bank for securities services


Securities services was one of the most competitive award categories GlobalRMB had to decide this year. Our awards criteria demanded the near-impossible from participating banks: to beat the competition in the fast-changing China access scheme, while at the same time demonstrating a broad client base and the ability to be at the cutting edge of innovation.

With a new market access scheme introduced by Chinese regulators on a yearly basis for the past half a decade, and with the earliest of these schemes introduced as far back as 2003, it was a tough field to judge.

That was made doubly complex by the fact that, although there are some clear incumbents insofar as market share is concerned for individual schemes, securities services work on China access remains, and will remain for some time, heavily oriented towards advisory business. In short, bankers have to spend the vast majority of their time explaining the complexities of China access before those clients are onboarded and active.

Which leads us to this year’s winner, Standard Chartered. The bank may not have the largest market share in some of the traditional schemes but in what has clearly been the year of the Bond Connect — it has impressed for its effort to deliver on the potential of the landmark scheme.

With Bond Connect, the bank has made the most of its China expertise and has quickly pulled ahead. This was as true on launch day, when it had nine pilot clients lined up, as it is a year down the line, when Standard Chartered services more Bond Connect investors than any of its rivals.

The bank has put focus on features that really matter to clients, such as real time delivery versus payments, where Standard Chartered says it has double the rates of RDVP settlement than the market average.

What about Stock Connect? Here Standard Chartered has been a leader in providing innovative solutions to overcome the scheme’s teething problems around pre-funding and settlement, launching a panel broker model that already involves nearly 20 brokers. Standard Chartered also played a key role in preparing clients for the event of the year, namely the inclusion of A shares in MSCI emerging market indices in June. In the run up to the inclusion date, the bank serviced nearly a quarter of all transactions.

But market share has not been the sole determinant. What GlobalRMB believes to be even more praiseworthy are the bank's engagements efforts with investors and its work behind the scenes with regulators in China and Hong Kong.

In an RMB world that remains still largely Asia-centric, we believe Standard Chartered was the bank that, in the period under consideration, worked the hardest to deliver the most up-to-date solutions to those seeking China access in the region and beyond.