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KBank to expand base of upcountry, younger customers

KBank executives in new style

KBank executives in new style

3.3 million new clients targeted in 2014, mostly in the provinces

Kasikornbank says it will aggressively pursue new customers upcountry and those aged below 25 years to expand fee-based income and strengthen the cross-selling of products.

KBank has acquired 2 million new customers this year, a bit below target because of the political unrest in Bangkok during the past two months. Upcountry, however, the political situation has had no affect on transactions, said executive vice president Pakorn Partanapat.

KBank started bringing in more retail customers in 14 main provinces last year as part of its growth strategy. This year, the number of customers upcountry has grown by 10 per cent, and transaction volumes by 20-30 per cent.

In the new year, the bank targets 3.3 million new retail clients, mostly in the provinces, to achieve a customer base of 14 million. He said the bank would use localised marketing as the main strategy to tap provincial customers.

KBank wants to boost fee income from transactions such as fund transfers upcountry, as it sees there is more room to grow in this segment than with bancassurance and merchant accounts.

"We aim to boost the proportion of customers upcountry to 60 per cent in 2014 from 52 per cent in 2013," he said.

KBank will also establish 170 new branches next year, mostly upcountry, for a total of 1,145.

He said the bank was also going after customers aged below 25 years, whose population base is about 12 million. In the bank's sights are new graduates, first-jobbers and start-up entrepreneurs.

It is hoped that these young customers will bring in more transaction fees via mobile devices, buy the bank's products, and use debit and credit cards, while also applying for loans.

The bank projects that fee income in 2014 will grow by 20-23 per cent from the Bt23.2 billion expected this year.

"Fee income in the retail business division represents 40 per cent of KBank's total income, and this is one reason we have to focus on those products that will bring in fee income," Pakorn said.

Deposits are expected to grow by 10 per cent next year and mutual funds by 8-11 per cent.

Meanwhile, the bank will be more cautious with lending in the retail sector, keeping an eye on the debt burden of targeted customers, those who have monthly incomes of more than Bt15,000.

The bank has started proactive measures against bad loans by sending text-message alerts to customers before the due dates for payments.

Loan growth in 2014 is targeted at 10-13 per cent from Bt327 billion this year.


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