Overview of Banks in China
The People’s Bank of China (PBC) is the country’s central bank. It was established in May 1948 with the authority to carry out monetary policies and regulate financial institutions and banks in China (mainland).
The different types of banks in China are:
- Specialized banks – The four specialized banks in the country include the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and the Bank of China (BOC)
- Specific lending purpose banks – These include the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC), and the China Development Bank (CDB)
- Commercial banks
- Foreign banks
Moody’s rates the Chinese banking system as stable, following the government’s adoption of more coordinated policy measures to curb shadow banking.
For anyone considering a career in banking in China, this list of top banks in China is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
The top banks in China are:
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
Founded in 1984, the International and Commercial Bank of China provides various banking products and services worldwide. The bank comprises Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, and Treasury Operations segments. ICBC is headquartered in Beijing and employs around 465,000 individuals.
As of December 31, 2016, it operated approximately 16,788 domestic institutions and 412 overseas institutions, as well as approximately 1,507 correspondent banks.
In the same period, total assets of the bank were US$3,812 billion and net profit was US$44.07 billion.
China Construction Bank
Established in 1954, China Construction Bank offers various banking and related financial services in the People’s Republic of China. The bank consists of Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, and Treasury Business divisions. Headquartered in Beijing, it manages approximately 14,956 domestic institutions and 29 overseas institutions.
In 2016, the bank’s total assets reached US$3,311 billion and net profit amounted to US$36.64 billion.
Agriculture Bank of China
Operating out of Beijing, the Agriculture Bank of China was established in 1951. The bank provides corporate and retail banking products and services through its 500,000 employees. It operates through Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, and Treasury Operations segments.
As of December 31, 2016, the bank managed 23,682 branches in China, 10 overseas branches, and three overseas representative offices.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$3,091 billion and a net profit of US$29.07 billion.
Bank of China
Founded in 1912, making it one of the oldest still existing banks in China, the Bank of China is headquartered in Beijing. It operates in six segments: Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, Treasury Operations, Investment Banking, Insurance, and Other Operations. It is also involved in the aircraft leasing business. The bank currently employs around 308,000 staff.
As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$2.886 trillion and net profit was US$29.07 billion.
China Development Bank
China Development Bank was incorporated in 1994. It offers various banking and financial products and services in China and other countries. The bank comprises Banking, Equity Investment, Leasing, and Securities segments. It operates through 37 primary and three secondary branches in mainland China, one offshore branch in Hong Kong, and five representative offices in Cairo, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, and London. With 3,500 employees, it is headquartered in Beijing.
As of 2016, the bank’s assets totaled US$26.31 billion and net profit amounted to US$246 million.
Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC)
Established in 2007, PSBC offers various banking products and services for retail and corporate customers in the People’s Republic of China. It is headquartered in Beijing, employing around 170,000 staff at present.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$1,305 billion and a net profit of US$6.28 billion.
Bank of Communications
Headquartered in Shanghai, the Bank of Communications was founded in 1908. The bank offers various commercial and retail banking products and services, primarily in China. With around 95,000 employees, it operates through a network of around 232 branches and 3,285 banking outlets in China, 65 overseas banking outlets, and a representative office in Toronto
As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$1,325 billion and net profit was US$10.58 billion.
Industrial Bank Co Ltd
Incorporated in 1988, the Industrial Bank Co Ltd offers Personal, Corporate, and Institutional Banking services. From its headquarters in Fuzhou, the bank manages approximately 126 branches and 2,003 outlets and employs around 56,000 staff.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets reached US$961 billion and net profit amounted to US$85.06 billion.
China Citic Bank Corp
China Citic Bank Corp offers several banking products and services in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and other countries. Established in 1987, the bank operates through Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, and Treasury Business segments.
As of December 31, 2016, the bank managed 1,424 branches, including 38 tier-one branches, 105 tier-two branches, and 1,281 sub-branches. With 58,000 employees, it is headquartered in Beijing.
In 2016, the bank posted total assets of US$39 billion and a net profit of US$329 million.
China Merchant Bank
Founded in 1987, China Merchant Bank operates through Wholesale Finance Business, Retail Finance Business, and Other Business segments. As of December 31, 2016, the bank oversaw a network of 136 branches, 1,672 sub-branches, one branch-level operation center, one representative office, 3,495 self-service centers, 1,723 automatic teller machines, and 10,138 deposit-taking and cash withdrawal machines, as well as 11,067 visual counters. With 10,000 employees, it is based in Shenzhen.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets were US$938 billion and net profit was US$9.8billion.
Careers in investment banking
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…. For banking careers, you will gain a significant edge over the competition with our financial modeling courses.
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in China. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: