Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Bank With 107 million Customers

Reading yesterday's Financial Times on the tram to work today. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will IPO soon. What caught my eye? "..this is a bank that has 18,000 branches and more customers than there are people in Mexico".
 
I checked the CIA Factbook and saw the there are 107.4 million people in Mexico.
 
Wow.
 
This seems like some science fiction futuristic bureaucracy.
 
Could you imagine, for instance, how many people will be on the phone, being redirected by the automated phone system? "If you would like information on your balance press 238, if you would like information on your overdraft, press 1402, if you would like to hold for an operator, please press zero ... Estimated waiting time is ... 25 days, 2 hours and 4 minutes. We value your patronage! "
 
 
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