The industrialization has propelled China to an increasingly large position in global finance. It is a fact that the biggest four banks in the world in terms of assets are Chinese, according to the 2019 annual rankings by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The banking system in China has undergone major changes within the last two decades allowing financial institutions to operate significantly like the counterparts in the west. However, financial operations are still controlled closely by the government specifically through the central bank. The central bank is responsible for planning, and implementation of the financial policies in china, maintain the payment systems of banks and monitor the foreign exchange.
1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
Established in 1984, it is the largest multinational bank company in the whole world as measured by total assets which amount to approximately $4 trillion as of 2019. It has individual customers amounting to 216 million, and the corporate customer’s amount to 3.6 million. Currently, the bank has employed approximately 460, 000 employees who carry out their duties from more than 16,200 outlets spread in china. There are also 331 subsidiaries and branches distributed in different countries. It is the largest deposit taker and corporate lender in the domestic market of China.
2. China Construction Bank
Established in 1954, this is a commercial bank that was named people’s Construction Bank of China before it was renamed in 1996. It conducts business through services of corporate banking business such as corporate credit loans, trade financing, international financing, enterprise equity and corporate deposit among others. It also undertakes personal banking which is comprised of loans, personal deposits, foreign exchange, and card services. To add to that, the bank offers mobile banking services, equity investment, electronic banking, and online banking services.
3. Bank of China
It was established in 1912 following approval by Sun Yat-sen. From 1912 to 1949, the bank carried out the roles of the central bank, foreign exchange and specialized services of a forex trade bank. It later acquired the status of a specialized international trade and foreign exchange bank after China became a republic. It was transformed into a full commercial bank owned by the state in 1994. The bank provides a wide range of services in Hong Kong, China, Macau, and other countries. Its services include personal and corporate deposits.
4. Agricultural Bank of China
Established in 1951, it became the first commercial bank in China. it was the first specialized bank in the country following reforms that were carried out in 1979. Since its establishment, its role in the rural economic sector of china has always remained significant. The bank underwent a registration change in 2009 to become a joint-stock company. The bank provides quality financial services for both rural and urban customers.
5. Bank of communications
Established in 1908, the bank of communications poses as one of the oldest banks in China and was the pioneer in offering banknotes and one of the financial service providers in China. It consists of commercial banks, securities, trusts, financial leasing, fund management, insurance, and offshore financial services. In 2017, it was listed as the 34th world’s biggest public company and 24th on the list of the World’s biggest banks by Forbes.