Top 10 Banks in China

China is a global financial power house, a trend largely fueled by the country’s rapid industrialization both locally and globally. Among the top 10 banks in China are four with slots among the top 10 banks in the world and the banking sector in the world’s second largest economy has also continued to grow both locally and abroad. As of 2019, China’s banking sector was valued at $40.6 trillion.

Despite tremendous growth in the last two decades, China’s banking and financial industry is still so much under the control of the Chinese Communist Party and the government has maintained a firm grip and control over the industry. The People’s Bank of China (PBC) established in 1948, is the custodian and regulator of the country’s banking and is tasked with regulating banks and the financial industry through adjustments to the fiscal and monetary policies.

Below is a detailed overview of the top 10 banks in China;

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (Total Assets-$3.47 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$3.47 trillion
  • Market cap-$233.913 billion
  • Revenue (2020)- $123.6 billion
  • Net Income(2020)- $45.3 billion
  • Employees-460,000

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) was established in 1984 and is the largest bank in China and globally.  The bank has around 216 million retail customers plus another 3.6 million corporate clients.

ICBC has over 16,200 throughout China plus 331 subsidiaries and branches in other countries. The bank is the largest corporate lender and deposit taker in China.

China Construction Bank (Total Assets-$3.02 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$3.02 trillion
  • Market Cap- $196.6 billion
  • Revenue (2020) – $102.2 billion
  • Net Income (2020) – $38.7 billion
  • Employees- 330,000

China Construction Bank was founded in 1954 and offers banking and financial services in various divisions like Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, and Treasury Business. The bank has its headquarters in Beijing with around 14,741 domestic branches and 29 international locations.

The bank was initially called people’s Construction Bank of China before it was renamed in 1996. China Construction Bank offers financial services like personal deposits, loans, international financing, trade financing, credit loans, and enterprise equity to name a few.     

Agriculture Bank of China (Total Assets-$3.2 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$3.2 trillion
  • Market cap-$131.5 billion
  • Revenue (2020) – $89.7 billion
  • Net income (2020) – $30.9 billion
  • Employees- 444,000

The Agriculture Bank of China was founded in 1951 and was the first commercial bank in China. It later became the first specialized bank in the country following reforms implemented in 1979 and also changed its registration status in 2009 to become a joint-stock company.

Also called AgBank, the Agriculture Bank of China has played a significant role in China agricultural sector through financing of rural agricultural enterprises. In recent days, the bank has diversified its services into consumer and corporate banking.

The AgBank operates a network of 22,938 branches in China plus 13 overseas branches. It also has three overseas representative offices.

Bank of China (Total Assets-$3.7 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$3.7 trillion
  • Market Cap-$109.1 billion
  • Revenue-$79.4 billion
  • Net Income-$27.2 billion
  • Employees-310,000 

Bank of China was founded in 1912 and is the oldest existing bank in China. The bank has its headquarters in Beijing and has operations in 61 countries. It is the most global Chinese bank with a branch in every inhabited continent in the world.

BOC offers a variety of financial services grouped in various categories including Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, Insurance, Investment Banking, Treasury Operations, and Other Operations.

China Development Bank (Total Assets-$2 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$2 trillion
  • Revenue- $71.3 billion
  • Net Income-$15 billion
  • Employees-3,500

Founded in 1994, China Development Bank offers a wide range of financial services both in China and abroad. The bank’s services are segmented into four segments Banking, Leasing, Equity Investment, and Securities.

China Development Bank is headquartered in Beijing and has a total of 37 primary and three secondary branches in mainland China, one office in Hong Kong, and five representative offices in London, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, and Cairo.

Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) (Total Assets-$1.7 trillion)

  • Total Assets-$1.7 trillion
  • Revenue-$44.2 billion
  • Net Income-$9.9 billion
  • Employees-150,000

The Postal Savings Bank of China was founded in 2007 and offers a variety of services for both retail and corporate clients. The bank offers financial services for small-scale businesses especially in rural areas. The Postal Savings Bank of China offers its services in more than 50,000 locations and a customer base of more than half a billion clients.

Bank of Communications (Total Asset- $1.52 trillion)

  • Total Asset- $1.52 trillion
  • Revenue- $20.53 billion
  • Net Income- $10.78 billion
  • Employee- 90,000

The Bank of Communications was founded in 1908 and has its headquarters in Shanghai. The bank offers a variety of financial services to both retail and commercial clients mainly in mainland China.

The Bank of Communication has a network of 245 branches and 3,025 banking outlets in mainland China. In addition, the bank has 68 overseas banking locations and one representative office in Toronto.

Industrial Bank Co Ltd (Total Assets-$940 billion)

  • Total Assets-$940 billion
  • Revenue-$48.3 billion
  • Net Income-$10.3billion
  • Employee-50,000

The Industrial Bank Co Ltd was launched in 1988 and has its main office in Fuzhou. The bank has a network of around 126 branches, more than 2,000 outlets spread across China from where it offers personal, corporate, and industrial banking services.

China Citic Bank Corp (Total Assets-$474.7 billion)

  • Total Assets-$474.7 billion
  • Revenue-$24.37 billion
  • Net Income- $4.92 billion
  • Employees- 34,589

China Citic Bank was founded in 1987 and has operations in mainland China, Hong Kong, and several others countries. The bank offers financial services in three main segments i.e commercial banking, individual banking, and investment banking.

China Citic Bank’s headquarters are located in Beijing and has more than 2,000 branches across China.

China Merchant Bank (Total Asset- $1.2 trillion)

Total Asset- $1.2 trillion

Revenue- $56.1 billion

Net Income-$15 billion


China Merchant Bank was established in 1987 and offers financial services in several categories like Retail Finance Business, Wholesale Finance Business, and Other Business segments. The bank has its headquarters in Shenzhen.

China Merchant Bank has a total of 142 branches, 1,724 sub-branches, 1,723 automatic teller machines, 3,495 self-service centers, and 16,559 visual counters.

Final Word

It is with no doubt that China has one of the most developed and stable banking sector.  The banking sector has been at the forefront of what has come to be dubbed China’s ‘economic miracle’  where the country shifted from a purely socialistic state, to modernization of its institutions, adoption  of market economies, and rapid economic growth within a short period of time. 

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