Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) plans to spend US$1.2 billion this year on its branch network and upgrading its technology to encourage non-teller-based service. The investment is part of a plan to diversify away from simple banking and into more profitable services, the South China Morning Post reported. The bank aims to spend US$48 million on building or renovating branches, US$50 million on information technology and automated teller machines and US$20 million on security and transport. The bank, which has 100 million retail customers, has been rapidly pushing into e-banking and ATMs to cut costs. ICBC increased internet accounts last year by 42% to 50 million.
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