Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Nominations are in for Global Retail Finance Leader of the Year 2024

5 min read

By Chris Kapfer

TAB Global’s annual Retail Finance Leader of the Year award recognises outstanding contributions to sustainable banking and institutional transformation, and we invite our readers to offer their feedback on these nominations

In the fast-moving consumer banking sector, some of the largest banks in the world lead the way in driving innovation, enhancing customer service, and transforming their institutions to meet an increasingly digital-savvy customer base.

Every year, TABInsights, the research arm of TAB Global, publishes the World’s Best Retail Banks Ranking. This ranking is based on a set of criteria that has become a reference for assessing excellence in retail banking globally.

We also shortlist leaders in this group to identify those who demonstrate exceptional strategies leading to extraordinary results, that set the benchmarks for the rest of the industry.

Creating a nomination of this nature is difficult. Often, we compare banks with very different business models. However, at a global level, the leaders share similar attributes. They manage large and complex franchises, where regional differences require distinct management approaches. At the same time, they are struggling to introduce innovation into institutions that have strong legacy infrastructure, yet they succeed in overcoming these hurdles.

The Global Retail Finance Leader of the Year highlights the achievements of one outstanding leader on the world stage in retail finance who is dedicated to building a sustainable and profitable retail finance franchise, and to meeting customer needs above those of its peers. It also credits a leader who has contributed significantly to the transformation of his or her financial institution, and who has made a strong impact on the country and on a global scale. Additionally, it recognises significant achievements over the person’s entire career, and his or her inspirational thought leadership within the bank and the entire industry.

We invite the industry to contribute to our understanding of these criteria by voting for the Global Retail Finance Leader of the Year, based on their achievements for the year under review.

This year’s nominees on a global stage in consumer banking are:

  • Marianne Lake, CEO, Consumer & Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase (US)   
  • Sun Na, General Manager, Personal Finance Department, China Construction Bank (China)
  • Daniel Barriuso, Global Head of Retail & Commercial Banking, Chief Transformation Officer, Banco Santander (Spain)

Marianne Lake, CEO, Consumer & Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase (US)   

Lake’s career at JPMorgan Chase, from CFO to CEO of Consumer and Community Banking, has propelled the bank’s leadership in innovation and inclusivity, resulting in significant growth and financial performance amid market challenges

Marianne Lake’s career at JPMorgan Chase spotlights her accounting and banking strategy. She joined JPMorgan in 1999 and served as CFO from 2013 to 2019 and CEO of consumer lending, before becoming CEO of Consumer and Community Banking (CCB) in 2021.

Lake has led JPMorgan Chase to innovate, advance technology, and become more inclusive, competing valiantly with fintechs and non-banks. She led Chase’s digital transformation, attracting millennials and Gen Z that make up 45% of its customers. Lake’s strategies have increased consumer lending, loan origination, and raised Chase Card Services client retention to 98%.

JPMorgan’s CCB is not only the largest retail bank in the world outside China but a leading financial services brand in the US. This segment contributes more than 45% to the overall loan book.

In 2023, Lake and her 141,000 coworkers served 66.8 million US households with $584 billion in assets. Her strategy has enhanced the CCB sector in both online and offline channels and increased franchise value by operating its firms within CCB and the larger firm.

She oversaw key projects like acquiring First Republic’s assets, bringing 200 financial advisors to JPMorgan, and increasing client assets by $200 billion. She values data-driven decision-making, customer-centricity, and excellence in project completion.

She co-founded Women on the Move and supported employee resource groups to encourage diversity. Her pandemic leadership showed empathy and adaptability, maintaining a solid company culture despite remote employment.

According to recent data, Lake raised JPMorgan’s consumer business retail deposit share from 9.1%, third in the US market in 2019, to 10.9% placing at the top spot in 2022. About 80% are primary bank customers.

This was achieved via rationalising the bank’s branches. While branch network decreased by 9% to over 4,500 since 2017, US population coverage within a 10-minute drive increased from 50% to 60%. Bankers send over 80% of first-time investors to JPMorgan branches, creating value. Over 75% of its consumers are mobile, and 50% to 60% of sales are digital.

In 2020, CCB earned $8.2 billion with 15% return on equity (RoE) despite the pandemic. With 41% RoE and $20.9 billion net income in 2021, recovery was clear. The division had $14.9 billion net income and 29% RoE in 2022. Net revenue climbed 28% to $70.1 billion in 2023, with 38% RoE and $21.2 billion net income.

Lake has guided JPMorgan’s financial performance and increased its diversity, inclusivity, and technological innovation commitments, keeping its competitive advantage and sustainability in the shifting financial landscape.

Sun Na, General Manager, Personal Finance Department, China Construction Bank (China)

Sun leads digital transformation and wealth management initiatives, propelling CCB to industry prominence, achieving significant growth in customer engagement and substantial profit from retail banking

Sun Na has been with China Construction Bank (CCB) for more than 20 years. Her tenure included a pivotal five years overseeing its retail banking franchise with assets totalling RMB 8,590 billion ($1,193 billion). She manages a vast workforce of retail employees across 14,000 branches, serving 750 million retail banking customers.

Prior to her current role as general manager of the personal finance department, Sun served as deputy general manager, focusing on retail deposits and investments, and before that as head of retail banking at CCB’s Shandong Provincial headquarters. Her journey within the organisation underscores a deep-rooted commitment to mastering all aspects of the business, fostering collaboration, and ensuring accountability.

Sun’s strategic vision for the retail banking sector centres on recognising and capitalising on two key trends in China: digital transformation and the rise of wealth management. She advocates for banks to adapt their strategies accordingly, leveraging technology to forge deeper connections with customers.

Under her leadership, CCB has prioritised digital transformation, investing heavily in upgrading mobile banking apps, enhancing data analytics capabilities, constructing integrated data platforms, and migrating to cloud-based solutions. This concerted effort has enabled CCB to better understand customer behaviour, tailor products and services, and maintain high levels of customer engagement. In 2022, CCB allocated RMB 23.3 billion ($3.2 billion), 2.8% of its total operating income, to financial technology initiatives.

Sun has spearheaded initiatives to expand CCB’s digital footprint beyond traditional banking channels, leveraging mobile apps and digital platforms to offer personalised services and financial solutions to customers. This approach, targeting the majority of its retail customer base, has significantly improved customer satisfaction, retention, and activation rates. The proportion of digitally-active customers surged significantly since 2019, accompanied by increased customer engagement.

Under her leadership, CCB has transitioned towards wealth management, making it accessible to a broader audience through a tiered customer service model and digital technology. This strategic shift, coupled with substantial investments in talent and technology, propelled CCB to the forefront of the industry, with retail assets under management reaching RMB 18 trillion ($2.5 trillion) by mid-2023.

Sun stewardship has yielded robust financial performance and balanced development for CCB, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.5% for retail revenue from 2019 to 2022, while maintaining a market-leading low cost-to-income ratio of 25% to 30%. Retail banking contributed over 54% of the total profit in 2023, a significant increase from 45% in 2019.

Daniel Barriuso, Global Head of Retail & Commercial Banking, Chief Transformation Officer, Banco Santander (Spain)

Barriuso drives transformative strategies at Banco Santander, prioritising enhanced customer experience, operational efficiency, and sustainable growth across global markets, leveraging extensive experience spanning banking, energy, and technology sectors

Daniel Barriuso has been global head of retail and commercial banking and group chief transformation officer at Banco Santander since 2023. He was tasked with accelerating the bank’s ‘One Transformation’ programme. This initiative aims to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and elevate customer experience across retail and commercial banking.

Previously, Barriuso served as the chief information security officer and head of cyber and banking fraud at the bank for nearly seven years. He has amassed over 29 years of experience spanning the banking, energy, and tech sectors.

His strategic focus on leveraging technology to improve customer experience and operational efficiency has been instrumental in shaping Santander’s direction, emphasising innovation and sustainable growth. Under his leadership, Santander has intensified its digital transformation, focusing on customer-centric strategies and global expansion.

Barriuso oversees a loan portfolio exceeding EUR 619 billion ($669 billion), supported by a workforce of over 150,000 employees. In 2023, retail banking contributed EUR 45.2 billion ($49 billion) in revenue, comprising 78% of Santander’s total business.

With 99.5 million active retail customers across 10 core markets, Santander maintains a leading position in the global retail banking sector. The bank’s unique combination of global scale and local expertise has propelled it to top positions in lending, deposits, and mutual funds across North and South America, and Europe, with total assets under management reaching EUR 460.3 billion ($497 billion) in 2023.

Notably, Santander has consistently ranked among the top three for Net Promoter Score (NPS) in seven of its core markets, achieving a notable increase in average NPS from 59 in 2021 to 69 in 2023.

Barriuso’s strategic initiatives include product simplification, digital-first approaches, and operational efficiencies through process automation and technology integration. He spearheads the convergence of the bank’s consumer and commercial customers, aiming to create a more efficient operating model.

Santander’s technological transformation involves migrating over 95% of its infrastructure to an on-premise private cloud, targeting a return on tangible equity of 17% by 2025 and a retail cost-to-income ratio of 43%. The bank is at the forefront of digital banking, having consolidated its platforms and establishing a single digital banking platform across markets, including its digital OpenBank.

Barriuso’s environmental finance initiatives focus on sustainable transitions, with strict measures against greenwashing to ensure compliance with sustainable finance standards.

In 2024, Barriuso will expand Santander’s ‘One Transformation’ efforts globally, building on successes in Spain, Mexico, and the US in 2023, aligning with the bank’s strategic pillars of customer experience, operational leverage, and global technology platform integration.

We invite our readers to offer their feedback on these nominations. Should you wish to share your insights on the candidates, kindly do so by 1 March to the TAB Global Excellence in Retail Finance Awards 2024 secretariat, led by Chris Kapfer at

Keywords: Nominations, Sustainable Banking, Institutional Transformation, Innovation, Customer Service, Digital-savvy Customer Base, World’s Best Retail Banks Ranking, Strategies, Extraordinary Results, Strategic Vision, Digital Transformation, Financial Performance, Growth, Market Challenges, Retail Banking Franchise, Customer Needs, Industry Prominence, Customer Engagement, Profitability, Compound Annual Growth Rate, Cost-to-income Ratio, Retail Revenue, Loan Portfolio, Assets Under Management, Net Promoter Score, Product Simplification, Digital-first Approach, Process Automation, Technology Integration, Environmental Finance, Sustainable Transitions, Greenwashing, Retail Finance Leader Of The Year
Institution: Banco Santander JPMorgan Chase China Construction Bank (CCB) OpenBank
People: Marianne Lake Sun Na Daniel Barriuso
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