Overview of Hong Kong Banks
This is a guide to the top 10 banks in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s banking system is a three-tier system consisting of licensed banks, banks with a restricted license, and deposit-taking banks.
Licensed banks in Hong Kong offer current and savings accounts. They perform regular functions such as accepting deposits or collecting cheques from customers. These banks do not have any restrictions on the value of deposits that they can accept.
Banks with Restricted License
Restricted banks in Hong Kong are primarily engaged in capital market and merchant banking activities. They can accept deposits with maturities of at least HK$500,000.
Deposit-taking companies are mostly owned or associated with banks in Hong Kong. These banks can take deposits of at least HK$100,000, with an original maturity term of at least three months. They provide specialized services, including securities business and consumer finance.
Top 10 Banks in Hong Kong
Moody’s has a negative outlook for Hong Kong’s banking system. For anyone considering a career in banking in Hong Kong, this list is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see all our list of financial institutions.
The top banks in Hong Kong are:
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)
Founded in 1865, the HSBC bank is located in Central Hong Kong. It provides a wide range of personal, commercial, and corporate banking financial services in 67 countries around the world. The bank employs around 235,175 staff.
HSBC is the largest of the banks in Hong Kong. The bank serves 38 million customers through four global businesses: Commercial Banking, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Private Banking, and Global Banking and Markets.
In 2016, the bank’s total income was US$59,836 million and total assets were US$2,375 billion.
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the second largest bank in Hong Kong. The bank was established in 1917 and was restructured in 2001. It provides banking and related financial services to individuals and corporate clients. It operates in three segments: Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, and Treasury.
Headquartered in the Central and Western District, the bank employs around 10,000 staff. In 2016, the bank posted a total income of US$5,337 million and reported total assets of US$297 billion.
Hang Seng Bank
Hang Seng Bank was founded in 1933. The bank provides retail banking, wealth management, commercial banking, treasury, and private banking services. The bank operates a network of around 220 branches. Hang Seng is a member of the HSBC Group and is one of Hong Kong’s largest listed companies. HSBC Group is one of biggest banking and financial services organizations in the world.
Headquartered in the Central District, the bank employs around 10,000 individuals. In 2016, the bank’s total income reached US$5.6 billion and total assets amounted to US$176.0 billion.
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)
Standard Chartered Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Standard Chartered, is a licensed bank incorporated in Hong Kong.
The bank started its operations in Hong Kong in 1859. It is one of the few note-issuing banks. It was incorporated in 2004 and now operates as one of the licensed banks in Hong Kong.
Standard Chartered employs around 6,000 staff. As of 2016, the total income of the bank was US$454 million and total assets were US$122.57 billion.
The Bank of East Asia
Incorporated in 1918, Bank of East Asia is the third largest of the banks in Hong Kong. Headquartered in the Central District, the bank provides comprehensive corporate banking, personal banking, wealth management, and investment services to its customers. It employs around 10,000 staff as of 2016. Last year, the bank posted a total income of US$1.8 billion and reported total assets of US$98.7 billion.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
The bank provides commercial banking and investment banking services. It also offers other financial services, including securities, insurance, and funds, with a focus on commercial and retail banking, as well as financial market-related businesses. It operates 58 retail outlets and three commercial businesses centers and currently employs 461,749 individuals. In 2016, the bank’s total income reached US$70.7 billion and total assets amounted to US$3,617 billion.
DBS Bank, Hong Kong
The bank is a subsidiary of DBS Bank and is the seventh largest of banks in Hong Kong. Headquartered in the Central District, it started its operations in Hong Kong in 1999. DBS Hong Kong provides consumer, SME, and corporate banking solutions. As of 2016, the bank’s total assets were US$44.59 billion and total income was US$138 million.
Wing Hang Bank
Founded in 1937, Wing Hang Bank currently operates as an investment holding company, engaged in commercial banking and financial services. Wing Hang Bank was incorporated and granted a banking license in Hong Kong in 1960. OCBC Wing Hang Limited (Hong Kong) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank in 2014. The bank provides services through three segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, and Treasury Activities. In 2016, the bank posted a total income of US$472 million and reported total assets of US$33.5 billion.
Nanyang Commercial Bank
NCB was established in 1949. As of 2016, the bank’s total income reached US$351 million and total assets amounted to US$44.6 billion. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cinda Asset Management and operates 41 branches. NCB focuses on corporate customers, particularly trading companies. It also offers personal and business insurance products. In addition, it provides wealth management and corporate banking services, as well as nominee, trustee, and investment agency services. It operates through Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, Treasury, Investment, and Others segments.
CITIC Bank International
Founded in 1998, the bank is majority owned by CITIC. The bank operates through wholesale, cross-border banking, retail, and Treasury segments. As of 2016, the total income of the bank was US$527 million and total assets US$39.16 billion.
Investment banking careers
To break into investment banking there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map….
This has been CFI’s guide to the top 10 banks in Hong Kong. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: