Overview of Hong Kong Banks
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 checks 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 the 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 Banks in Hong Kong
Moody’s gave a stable outlook for Hong Kong’s banking system in early 2021. 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.
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 one of the largest 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.
Net income: HKD 69.45 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 9.42 trillion (2020)
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
Bank of China (Hong Kong) 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.
Net income: HKD 27.35 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 3.14 trillion (2020)
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 the biggest banking and financial services organizations in the world.
Headquartered in the Central District, the bank employs around 10,000 individuals.
Net income: HKD 16.69 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 1.76 trillion (2020)
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)
Standard Chartered Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Standard Chartered, is a licensed bank incorporated in Hong Kong. It started its operations in Hong Kong in 1859.
The bank is one of the few note-issuing institutions in Hong Kong. Incorporated in 2004, it now operates as one of the licensed banks in the territory. It employs around 6,000 staff.
Net income: HKD 10.36 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 2.46 trillion (2020)
The Bank of East Asia
Incorporated in 1918, Bank of East Asia is headquartered in the Central District and provides comprehensive corporate banking, personal banking, wealth management, and investment services to its customers. It employs around 10,000 staff as of 2021.
Net income: HKD 3.61 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 884.4 billion (2020)
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) provides commercial banking and investment banking services. The bank 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.
ICBC operates 56 retail outlets and three commercial business centers and currently employs 3,097 individuals.
Net income: HKD 5.52 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 931.1 billion (2020)
DBS Bank Hong Kong
The bank is a subsidiary of DBS Bank and is headquartered in the Central District. It started its operations in Hong Kong in 1999. DBS Hong Kong provides consumer, SME, and corporate banking solutions.
Net income: HKD 1.13 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 360.4 billion (2020)
OCBC Wing Hang Bank
Founded in 1937, OCBC Wing Hang Bank currently operates as an investment holding company, engaged in commercial banking and financial services. The bank was incorporated and was 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.
Net income: HKD 2.88 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 312.2 billion (2020)
Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB)
Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) was established in 1949. 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, NCB 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.
Net income: HKD 3.82 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 505.7 billion (2020)
CITIC Bank International
Founded in 1998, CITIC Bank International is majority-owned by Chinese conglomerate CITIC. The bank operates through wholesale, cross-border banking, retail, and Treasury segments. It was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Beijing, China.
Net income: HKD 56.6 billion (2020)
Total assets: HKD 9.74 trillion (2020)
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: