Bank of China

Not to be confused with the People's Bank of China (the central bank of the People's Republic of China)

Bank of China
Native name
Public company
Traded as SEHK: 3988
SSE: 601988
Industry Banking
Financial services
Founded Beijing, China
(1912 (1912))
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served
Key people
Chen Siqing, CEO
Tian Guoli, President and Chairman of the board
Products Credit cards, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, Securities, asset management, wealth management
Increase CN¥407.51 billion (2013)[1]
Increase CN¥211.68 billion (2013)[1]
Total assets Increase CN¥16.793 trillion (2013) [1]
Owner Government of China
Number of employees
310,042 (2016)[2]
Bank of China
Simplified Chinese 中国银行
Traditional Chinese 中國銀行
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 中银
Traditional Chinese 中銀
Second alternative Chinese name
Chinese 中行

Bank of China (simplified Chinese: 中国银行; traditional Chinese: 中國銀行; pinyin: Zhōngguó Yínháng; often abbreviated as 中銀 (in Hong Kong) or 中行 (in mainland)) is one of the 5 biggest state-owned commercial banks in China.

It was founded in 1912 by the Republican government to replace the Imperial Bank of China. It is the oldest bank in mainland China still in existence. From its establishment until 1942, it issued banknotes on behalf of the Government along with the "Big Four" banks of the period: the Farmers Bank of China, Bank of Communications and Central Bank of the Republic of China. Its headquarters are in Xicheng District, Beijing.[3]

As of 31 December 2009, it was the second largest lender in China overall, and the 5th largest bank in the world by market capitalization value.[4] As of 30 June 2015, it has the third highest proportion of interest payable of Chinese companies.[5]


Bank of China Headquarters, Beijing, China. Architecture by I. M. Pei.

The Bank of China's history began in 1905, when the Qing government established Daqing Hubu Bank[6] (大清户部銀行) in Beijing, which was in 1908 renamed to Daqing Bank (大清銀行). When the Republic of China was established in 1912, it was further renamed as Bank of China by President Sun Yat-sen's government, adding a new role of the central bank.[7]

After the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, the Bank of China effectively split into two operations. Part of the bank relocated to Taiwan with the Kuomintang (KMT) government and was privatised in 1971 to become the International Commercial Bank of China (中國國際商業銀行). In 2002, it merged with Chiao Tung Bank (交通銀行) to become the Mega International Commercial Bank. The Mainland operation is the current entity known as the Bank of China.

It is the second largest lender in China overall, and the fifth largest bank in the world by market capitalization value.[4] Once 100% owned by the central government, via China Central Huijin and National Council for Social Security Fund (SSF), an Initial public offering (IPO) of its shares took place in June 2006, the free float is at present over 26%. In the Forbes Global 2000 it ranked as the 4th-largest company in the world.[8]

It is the most globally-active of China's banks, with branches on every inhabited continent. Outside of mainland China, BOC also operates in 27 countries and areas including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Hungary, United States, Panama, Brazil, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Zambia, South Africa, and a branch office in the Cayman Islands.[9] In December 2010, the Bank of China New York branch began offering renminbi products for Americans.[10] It was the first major Chinese bank to offer such a product.

Although it is present in the above countries/territories, its operations outside China accounted for less than 4% of the activity of the bank by both profits and assets. Mainland China accounts for 60% of the bank by profits and 76% by assets as at December 2005.

Timeline of overseas activities

Tokyo branch
New York branch
Bank of China building in Singapore
Bank of China in Canada
Bank of China in Shenyang

Hong Kong

BOC started operations in Hong Kong in 1917 and has become a major player there.[21] It became a note-issuing bank in Hong Kong in 1994, and in Macau in 1995.

In 2001, BOC regrouped its Hong Kong operations into Bank of China (Hong Kong); then BOCHK listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 2002. Two-thirds of its share capital are in free float. The bank's headquarters in Hong Kong are located in the Bank of China Tower, designed by the renowned architect I.M. Pei, and was opened to the public in 1990 as the tallest building in Hong Kong at that time.

It listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (independently from BOCHK) (SEHK:3988) by floating the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the world by any institution since 2000 on June 1, 2006, raising US$9.7 billion. The IPO attracted HK$286 billion (USD 36.7 billion) in retail orders and was the most heavily oversubscribed in the history of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The offer was around 76 times oversubscribed. Although some financial analysts advised caution due to the worrying amounts of non-performing loans, this hardly deterred investors. The IPO share price started at HK$2.95 per share and jumped 15% (to HK$3.40) after the first day of trading.

In 2008, the Bank of China was crowned Deal of the Year - Debt Market Deal of the Year at the 2008 ALB Hong Kong Law Awards.

Basic facts


Although it is not a central bank, the Bank of China is licensed to issue banknotes in two of China's Special Administrative Regions. Until 1942, the Bank of China issued banknotes in mainland China on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China. Today, the Bank issues banknotes in Hong Kong and banknotes in Macau (under the Portuguese name "Banco da China, Sucursal de Macau"), along with other commercial banks in those regions.


As of 30 September 2015, largest shareholders of the Bank of China ordinary shares (both A shares and H shares) were:[23]

As of 30 September 2015, largest shareholders of the Bank of China preference shares (both domestic and offshore) were:[24]


Guarantee scandal in Poland

After failure of the building A2 highway in Poland, by COVEC this bank had to repay the guarantee, to the Polish govt. roads organization GDDKiA. However, with Export-Import Bank of China, they refused to pay this, and only Deutsche Bank sent his part of the money required by court.[25]

Wultz v. Bank of China

On August 8, 2008, the family of Daniel Wultz, an American teenager killed in a 2006 terrorist attack in Israel, filed suit against the Bank of China in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was subsequently transferred to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, where litigation continues. On October 29, 2012, the Honorable J. Scheindlin issued a ruling compelling Bank of China to provide discovery.[26][27]

Alleged money transfers to Hamas

In 2012, the families of eight terror victims of the 2008 Mercaz HaRav massacre in Jerusalem filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Bank of China. The suit asserted that in 2003 the bank's New York branch wired millions of dollars to Hamas from its leadership in Syria and Iran. The Bank of China subsequently denied providing banking services to terrorist groups: "The Bank of China has always strictly followed the UN's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements and regulations in China and other judicial areas where we operate."[28][29][30]

Money laundering

In 2014 BOC denied China Central Television reports of money laundering.[31]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "2013 Annual Report" Bank of China 2013 Annual Report
  2. "2016 report" Fortune China (in Chinese)
  3. "CSR Report of Bank of China" (PDF). 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2011..
  4. 1 2 "Global 500 December 2009 - Market values and prices at 31 December 2009"
  5. "Interests payable Rankings for Chinese Companies". China Stock Facts. 2015.
  6. The term Hubu (Chinese: 户部; pinyin: Hùbù; Wade–Giles: Hu-pu) referred to a central government ministry under the Qing imperial regime responsible for finances.
  7. "Bank of China" Baidu Encyclopedia (in Chinese)
  8. "The World's Biggest Public Companies". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  10. "RMB Business Q&A". Bank of China.
  11. Bank of China - BOC Becomes the First RMB Clearing Bank Recognized by Government of Luxembourg
  12. Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition): Daily News in English About Korea
  13. Xinhua - English
  14. Bank of China to buy into Rothschild venture
  15. (NHK World)
  16. "Bank Of China Cuts Off North Korea Trade Bank". 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  17. The Bank of China on the 29 of May 2014 was approached by investors. The investors were offering a better deal than the government. The investors invested over 100 trillion us dollars with the interest rate of only 5.75 % on loans, mortgages, and 10% on all returns of investment in the China Bank "Bank of China opens Montreal branch". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  18. "Bank of China becomes first Asian firm to help set London's gold price", 16 Jun 2015
  20. Financial Times, Thursday 21 April 2016, p. 17.
  21. "Bank of China (Hong Kong)".
  23. "Ordinary Shares". Bank of China. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  24. "Preference Shares". Bank of China. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  25. "COVEC nie zraził się porażką na A2 i z chińskimi bankami startuje do Kozienic". January 20, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  26. "Duke University Law School: Wultz v. Bank of China" (PDF). October 29, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  27. "Parents of Daniel Wultz fight to punish Bank of China for role in 2006 terrorist attack that killed their son". Fatherhood Channel. July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  28. Zhu, Grace (25 October 2012). "Bank of China Says It Hasn't Helped Hamas". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  29. "Bank of China denies channelling funds to Hamas". Google News. AFP. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  30. "Israelis sue Chinese Bank for aiding Hamas". UPI. October 24, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  31. Soo, Aipeng (9 July 2014). "Bank of China Denies Report Alleging Money Laundering Aid". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 10 July 2014.


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