China Banking Corporation
Type Public (PSE: CHIB)
Industry Banking & Finance
Founded Manila, Philippines (1920)
Headquarters Makati, Philippines
Key people Hans T. Sy, Chairman
Gilbert U. Dee, Vice Chairman
Peter S. Dee, President and CEO
Products Financial Services
Net income P3.21 billion PHP (As of September 2009)
Employees 4,140 (as of February 2010)

China Banking Corporation (PSE: CHIB), known publicly as China Bank is Philippines' fourth largest universal bank by market capitalization. Established in 1920, it is the first privately-owned commercial bank in the Philippines. It is likewise the first bank in Southeast Asia to process deposit accounts on-line in 1969 and the first Philippine bank to offer phone banking in 1988. China Bank is one of the strongest and most profitable banks in the Philippines today. The Bank posted a January to September 2009 net income of P3.21 billion, 40.7% higher than the P2.28 billion income recorded for the same period in 2008. This income performance translates to a 15.53% return on equity and a 2.02% return on assets, among the highest in the industry.

China Bank provides a wide range of banking services through 248 branches and 388 ATMs nationwide (including ChinaBank Savings). The bank continues to move forward with its aggressive branch expansion plan and is on track to hitting its target of 300 branches by 2011.



China Bank, founded by Albino SyCip and Dee C. Chuan, along with other leaders of the wealthiest Manila-based family businesses, opened for business at No. 90 Quintin Paredes Street, Binondo on August 16, 1920 with J.W. McFerran as the first general manager. Shortly afterward, Eugene W. Wing of the International Banking Corporation took over and managed China Bank's operations until 1936. This mixture of cultures represented a seamless merger of Western and Eastern banking policies – an obvious lack during those days when financial institutions governed by Western policies declined credit loans of wealthy Filipino-Chinese businessmen who operated on the principle of ‘xinyong’ or trustworthiness. China Bank recognized xinyong and granted small loans and opened credit accounts with patrons and suppliers without demand for collateral for the loan.

Though the banking industry then was dominated by foreign banks, China Bank made a noticeable impact on the country's banking circles. With a modern Chinese organization structure, and guided with an in-depth understanding of the way Filipino-Chinese businessmen do business, the bank steadily grew and flourished. From 1925 to 1929, China Bank opened two branches in China, one in Amoy and another in Shanghai. However, both branches closed in August and September 1949, when conditions in China became inimical to the Bank's operations.

Albino SyCip succeeded Dee C. Chuan with the latter’s death in 1940. His astute management and steady hand guided that bank through the bank’s operations until the Second World War. When the Japanese occupational forces’ invaded Manila in January 1942, China Bank closed. Like most Filipinos during the war, the bank’s directors and officers lost control over their directions. Fortunately, the bank had been making steady deposits and turning over assets to the United States High Commissioner for safekeeping with the help of the officials of the US Treasury Department of Manila, by the end of 1941. With these overseas assets, and the Bureau of Banking’s full cooperation, China Bank reopened on July 23, 1945.

After World War 2, the Bank developed a niche in a country that needed rebuilding. It opened its first local branch in Cebu in 1949 to cater to the developing business climate in the region. Some of the most successful businesses sought the bank’s help to start up or rebuild their businesses during that time: William Chiongbian initiated a partnership with China Bank for the start of his shipping business in 1956 and business tycoon John Gokongwei, Jr. started a corn milling plant (now Universal Corn Products - the predecessor of Universal Robina Corporation in 1957, among others.

Fully recovered from the pains of the war, China Bank computerized its operations in 1969. The bank also opened the branch in Makati that same year where the head office is now located. Nearly two decades after, China Bank upgraded its online system in 1988 and launched the TellerCard and TellerPhone, the bank’s ATM and telephone banking services. In 1990, China Bank, along with seven other banks, set up BancNet , now the country’s largest ATM network. It was this time too, when SM Investments Corporation started to become the a dominant shareholder of China Bank.

In 1991, China Bank acquired its universal bank license, ushering an era of expanded banking operations. It launched its consumer loans in 1994, China Bank HomePlus loan and China Bank AutoPlus loan. In 1996, it launched the interest-earning checking account, China Check Plus, and issued US Dollar Floating Rate Certificate of Deposit, the bank’s first time to access foreign capital markets. Driven with a strong commitment to customer service[citation needed], China Bank continues to develop and offer customer-focused, innovative products and services. China Bank’s Cash Management Services were launched in 2004, to cater to businesses and its corporate clients. In September 2006, China Bank unveiled its new modern and sleek[citation needed] branch design, with the opening of its new branches and the renovation and relocation of some.

Recently, China Bank has been involved with strategic alliances to expand and strengthen its operations. On February 8, 2007, the bank signed a bancassurance joint venture deal with The Manufactures Life Insurance Company (Manulife), one of the leading insurance companies in the world, to create a the joint venture company Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation (MCBLife), Manulife’s first and only bancassurance deal in the Philippines. On June 21, 2007, China Bank signed an agreement to purchase 87.51% of Manila Bank’s subscribed shares. The acquisition boosted China Bank’s network of 158 branches (at the time of acquisition) by 75.

Today, China Bank enjoys a remarkable status within the Philippine banking community.[clarification needed] Its consecutive record earnings and awards for banking excellence make China Bank one of the major players in the Philippines’ banking arena.[citation needed] What’s more, China Bank’s National Ratings of AA- from Fitch is among the highest in the banking industry.[citation needed]

Subsidiaries and Affiliates

Chinabank is divided into the following subsidiaries and affiliates:

  • ChinaBank Savings, Inc.
  • Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation (MCBLife)
  • China Bank Insurance Brokers, Inc.
  • China Bank Forex Corporation
  • China Bank Properties and Computer Center, Inc.

See also

External links

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