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20 Best Banks In China

20 Best Banks In China

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Moreover, if you are living in China, you can also see our article about how to get money out of Mainland China.


The best banks in China are discussed in this article in the context of the larger banking industry. Please use this article if you’re looking for information on Chinese investment banking specifically.

People’s Bank of China

China’s central bank is known as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Technically speaking, PBOC is not included in the list of the best banks in China.

But PBOC must be mentioned in order for this article to be considered complete. This is due to the fact that PBOC is China’s most potent banking organization.

The Banking System in China

The “One Committee, One Bank, Two Commissions” framework governs banks in China. The Financial Stability and Development Committee, which reports to the State Council, is referred to as the “One Committee.”

The People’s Bank of China, or PBOC for short, is referred to as the “One Bank.” China’s central bank is called PBOC. The PBOC establishes regulations for Chinese banks in a manner similar to how the Federal Reserve does so for banks in the United States.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission are referred to as the “Two Commissions.” These four regulatory organizations work as a unit to maintain the health and expansion of China’s top banks.

China has a sizable banking sector and is the second-largest economy in the world (largest by GDP using purchase price parity). Over 200 Chinese banks exist inside of China, and each one has assets worth at least $50 billion.

In our investigation of China’s banks, we found a fascinating pattern. Western banks frequently name their institutions after their founders. J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are two instances.

Chinese banks, in contrast, enjoy naming their institutions after particular sectors of the economy and locations.

Bank of Beijing, Bank of Nanjing, China Construction Bank Corporation, and the Agricultural Bank of China are a few examples. A bank is named after nearly every major city.

Because so many banks in China are state-owned and -controlled, this pattern might be the result of that. The state typically does not own Western banks, on the other hand.

20 Best Banks in China

1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is known simply as ICBC. A state-owned commercial bank, ICBC was established on January 1st, 1984. It is one of the best banks in China.

The capital for ICBC came from the Chinese Ministry of Finance. The bank had the highest Tier 1 Capital among the top a thousand international banks in 2013. It is the first Chinese bank to receive this honor in modern times.

Just before ICBC’s IPO in 2006, Goldman Sachs paid US$2.6 billion for a 5.75% stake in ICBC. It was the biggest equity check that Goldman Sachs had ever invested at the time.

20 Best Banks In China
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China logo. Image from Impakter Index.

2. China Construction Bank Corporation

The China Construction Bank Corporation’s abbreviation is CCB. CBB, which was established on October 1st, 1954, rose to fame quickly.

By market capitalization, CCB rose to become the second-largest bank and sixth-largest company in the world in 2015. For US$3 billion in 2005, Bank of America acquired a roughly 9% stake in China Construction Bank.

This was Bank of America’s largest investment to date in China’s expanding banking industry.

3. Agricultural Bank of China

The Agricultural Bank of China is also known as ABC or AgBank. Incorporated on July 10th, 1951, ABC now has locations across China and has also grown to include branches in other parts of Asia, Europe, and North America.

Beijing houses its corporate headquarters. 2.7 million corporate clients, nearly 24,000 branches, and more than 320 million retail customers make up ABC.

According to assets, it ranks third among lenders in China. ABC is categorized as a systematically important bank by the Financial Stability Board due to its enormous size.

4. Bank of China

The Bank of China is referred to by the acronym BOC. BOC is China’s second-oldest bank and is one of the best banks in China, having been established in 1912.

BOC’s headquarters are in Beijing, just like many other prestigious banks in China.

Daqing Hubu Bank was founded in Beijing by the Qing Dynasty in 1905, marking the beginning of the Bank of China. It was renamed Daqing Bank by the Qing Dynasty in 1908.

The Bank of China was created by the government in 1912, the year the Republic of China was founded. BOC has a long history among China’s top banks as a result. One of the biggest lenders in the world and the biggest company in terms of market capitalization is BOC.

BOC is a bank that the Financial Stability Board considers to be of systemic importance.

5. Postal Savings Bank of China

The Postal Savings Bank of China is known by the abbreviation PSBC. It is one of the best banks in China.

The PSBC, which was established on March 6th, 2007, offers basic financial services, primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, rural residents, and low-income clients.

Because PSBC received an initial capital of RMB20 billion from the State Post Bureau in 2007, it is known as “Postal.”

Today, PSBC ranks second in terms of the number of branches after the Agricultural Bank of China and has trillions of dollars in assets. The biggest unlisted Chinese bank was PSBC before its IPO in 2016.

6. Bank of Communications

The name of the Bank of Communications is shortened to BOCOM. China’s oldest bank is BOCOM, which was established in 1908. It is one of the best banks in China.

Bank of Communications was ranked No. 151 among the Global 500 by Fortune magazine. According to Tier 1 Capital, the London-based The Banker magazine ranks it among the top 1,000 banks.

Established western banks invested strategically in the Chinese banking industry in the 2000s. That strategic investor in BOCOM’s case was HSBC. 2004 saw an agreement for HSBC to pay US$1.75 billion to acquire 19.9% of BOCOM.

7. China Merchants Bank

The abbreviation CMB is used to refer to the China Merchants Bank. CMB is one of China’s most well-known banks and was established in 1987. It is one of the best banks in China.

The CMB brand is well-known to most people. CMB was ranked No. 162 on the Global 500 list and No. 37 on the China 500 list by Fortune magazine in 2021.

CMB was ranked No. 14 out of the top 1000 banks by Tier 1 Capital by The Banker magazine. There are thousands of CMB branches around the world, the majority of which are in China.

8. Industrial Bank

The Industrial Bank is known by the initials IB. Top Chinese bank Industrial Bank has its main office in Fuzhou. It is one of the best banks in China.

The bank, which was established on August 26th, 1988, offers a wide range of financial services to individuals, companies, and other institutions.

It trades on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is a public company. Industrial Bank has been branching out beyond its roots in commercial banking and into the world of investment banking recently.

9. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank’s name is shortened to SPDB or Pufa. Shanghai-based SPDB, a top commercial bank and one of the best banks in China, was established on January 9th, 1993.

The purpose of SPDB is to offer financial services for the growth of Pudong New Area. This is a crucial step in realizing the government’s plan to turn Shanghai into a significant global financial center.

Citigroup invested in SPDB at the same time as other western banks did in Chinese banks in the early 2000s.

10. China CITIC Bank Corporation

In 1987, China founded the China CITIC Bank Corporation. It is China’s first commercial bank to engage in financing on both domestic and international financial markets. It is one of the best banks in China.

A simultaneous listing of the bank’s A shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and its H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was accomplished in April 2007. The bank operates more than a thousand locations in more than a hundred cities.

20 Best Banks In China
China CITIC Bank logo. Image from Venture Seed.

11. China Minsheng Banking Corp.

The abbreviation for China Minsheng Banking Corp. is CMBC. The first privately owned bank in China, CMBC was established on January 12th, 1996. It is one of the best banks in China.

CMBC places itself in a strategic position to concentrate on lending to small and medium-sized businesses. CMBC listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2000.

CMBC then went public and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in November 2009. China Minsheng Bank currently employs more than 57,000 people and operates close to 3,000 banking locations.

12. China Everbright Bank Company

The China Everbright Bank Company is known by the abbreviation CEB. Leading Chinese commercial bank CEB was established in August 1992 and has its headquarters in Beijing. It is one of the best banks in China.

Shanghai Stock Exchange (as of August 2010) and Hong Kong Stock Exchange both list CEB (December 2013).

13. Ping An Bank

Ping An Bank, a well-known Chinese bank with its headquarters in Shenzhen, was established on June 22nd, 1995. It is one of the best banks in China.

A division of the Ping An Group is Ping An Bank. Insurance, banking, and asset management make up the three main business sectors of the Ping An Group.

The parent company’s entry into the banking industry is represented by the bank. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange has a listing for Ping An Bank.

14. Huaxia Bank

The Huaxia Bank is known by its abbreviation HXB. It is one of the best banks in China.

The 1992-founded HXB is China’s fifth bank to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Like its competitors, HXB arranged a strategic investment from Deutsche Bank.

Both companies accepted strategic investments from western banks. The company’s primary areas of focus are financing low-income housing development and urban-rural integration projects.

It dedicates a significant portion of its lending to “Agriculture, Rural Areas, and Farmers.” It has established sizable outlets in rural counties and Chinese villages.

15. Bank of Beijing

The Bank of Beijing is referred to by the abbreviation BOB. It is one of the best banks in China.

The bank was established in January 1996 and is a publicly traded company with a Shanghai Stock Exchange listing. 

Despite having the majority of its branches outside of Beijing, the company claims that Beijing is where a sizable portion of BOB’s revenue comes from.

The Dutch financial conglomerate ING invested strategically in 2005 and bought 19.9% of BOB. Another significant shareholder in the business is the government of Beijing.

16. China Guangfa Bank

Guangdong Development Bank was the original name of China Guangfa Bank. It is one of the best banks in China.

Similar to how Pufa stands for Shanghai Development, Guangfa is an acronym for Guangdong Development. CGB is another way to shorten the bank’s name.

The bank was established in 1988 and primarily conducts business in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau. Additionally, it has been spreading outside of these areas.

17. Bank of Shanghai

Bank of Shanghai is known by the acronym BOSC. It is one of the best banks in China.

The bank was established on December 29th, 1995, and is named for and has its headquarters in Shanghai.

It is an open company with a Shanghai Stock Exchange listing. BOSC received strategic investments from the World Bank and International Finance Corporation in the early 2000s. 

Contrary to its name, BOSC has a significant presence in southern, western, and central China in addition to Shanghai. Bank of Shanghai is currently one of China’s largest banks in terms of assets.

18. Bank of Jiangsu

Bank of Jiangsu is a young institution in comparison to other prestigious banks in China. It is one of the best banks in China.

The bank, which was established in January 2007, grew quickly and, in just a decade, was among the biggest in China.

A publicly traded company, the bank trades on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The bank, which was founded in the province of Jiangsu, is present in all of its counties. The bank has grown beyond its namesake location, much like other banks with province or city names.

The Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Bohai Rim serve as its three main economic focal points.

20 Best Banks In China
Bank of Jiangsu logo. Image from Unepfi.org.

19. China Zheshang Bank

The China Zheshang Bank is known by the initials CZB. The Hangzhou-based CZB was established in 2004. It is one of the best banks in China.

The province of Zhejiang is indicated by the initials “Zhe” in its name. The bank is well-established in Zhejiang province, as suggested by the bank’s name.

It is a publicly traded company that trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as well as the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

20. Bank of Nanjing

The Bank of Nanjing is known by the abbreviations NJCB and BoN. One of the top banks in China, BoN was established in 1996. It is one of the best banks in China.

Over 100,000 corporate clients, including medium-sized and small businesses, are the primary target market for banking services offered by BoN. Over 2 million individual clients make up the bank’s sizable individual clientele.

It can provide a variety of banking products, such as credit cards, loans, and wealth management tools.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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