China Banking Corporation (China Bank) is one of the leading private universal banks in the Philippines. We offer a full range of banking products and services to institutional (corporate, middle market/commercial, SMEs) and individual (retail, mass affluent, high net worth) customers, as well as thrift banking, investment banking, insurance brokerage, and bancassurance through our subsidiaries China Bank Savings, China Bank Capital, China Bank Securities, Chinabank Insurance Brokers, and Manulife China Bank Life Assurance.
Established in 1920 as one of the first privately-owned local commercial bank, China Bank has an in-depth understanding of the way entrepreneurs and businessmen do business. While maintaining very close multi-generational relationships with the Chinese-Filipino community, we have since expanded the scope of our products and services to cover all market segments as we pursue ways to create greater value for the future.
The China Bank stock (PSE: CHIB) is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). We are a member of the SM Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines.
China Bank was founded by Dee C. Chuan, a leading business leader and philanthropist, Don Albino Sycip, known as the Dean of Philippine Banking, and ten other prominent businessmen of the era. The Bank opened for business on August 16, 1920 on Calle Rosario—what is now No. 90 Quintin Paredes St., Binondo. With a modern Chinese organization structure, and guided with an in-depth understanding of the way Chinese merchants do business—like operating on the principle of xinyong or trustworthiness—China Bank steadily grew and flourished. However, when Japan invaded Manila in 1942, the Bank was liquidated by the Japanese Military authorities. We reopened on July 23, 1945 and played a key role in post-World War II reconstruction and economic recovery by lending heavily to businesses and entrepreneurs in critical industries.
Since then, a succession of highly capable leaders and visionaries steered the Bank into decades of successful operations. China Bank was among the first local banks listed on the Manila Stock Exchange in 1927, the first in Southeast Asia to process deposit accounts on-line in 1969, and the first to offer telephone banking in the Philippines in 1991—the same year China Bank became a universal bank.
Driven to be a catalyst of wealth creation, China Bank has been growing and improving to serve customers better. We embarked on an aggressive branch network expansion program in 2006, quadrupling the number of branches from 148 in 2006 to 631 as of March 2021 (including 158 China Bank Savings branches). This wide branch network is complemented by electronic banking channels that provide secure and reliable 24/7 banking service: 1,026 ATMs, China Bank TellerPhone, China Bank Online, and China Bank Mobile Banking App.
With nearly a century of solid financials, strong commitment to quality service, significant contribution to the country’s financial landscape, and an enduring legacy of successful partnerships with generations of clients, China Bank remains one of the most respected, trusted, stable, and profitable financial institutions in the country.
China Bank Mobile AppIn 2018, China Bank launched the new and improved China Bank Mobile App. Aside from the usual functionalities for convenient banking on the go, the app has pre-login features like ATM/Branch locator, exchange rates viewer, and loan calculator/simulator, and new functionalities that no other mobile banking app has: SLEX RFID Reload for convenient on-the-go reloading of SLEX RFIDs, JUMP or Just Use your Mobile Phone (Pay to Mobile) feature, and NOW or No card On Withdrawal (Emergency Cash) feature.
In 2019, China Bank partnered with AF Payments, becoming the first bank to offer beep™ card reloading via ATM. China Bank cardholders can conveniently check their card balance and reload P100 up to P10,000 to their card through China Bank and China Bank Savings ATMs located near LRT & MRT stations and P2P bus terminals.
P30 billion retail bonds maiden issueIn July 2019, China Bank raised P30 billion through its maiden issue of fixed rate bonds. It is one of the largest corporate bond issuances on a single issuance in the market to date, a clear indication of solid client and investor support. A follow-up to its successful P10.25 billion Long-Term Negotiable Certificates of Time Deposit (LTNCD) offer last year, the largest single LTNCD issuance for 2018, China Bank is issuing up to P20 billion LTNCD to support its asset generation plans and expansion programs. These fund-raising activities not only bode well for China Bank’s future, but also affirm its commitment to providing customers with higher yielding investment alternatives to help them make the most of their hard-earned money.
Binondo Heritage Restoration projectFor 2019, the bank has begun the reconstruction and restoration of the Bank’s Binondo Business Center, its historic original headquarters built in the 1920s. The Binondo Heritage Restoration Project will seek to recapture the original architecture of the center when it was first constructed, which has since been lost to various remodelling efforts after WWII. The building will also be retrofitted to comply with modern safety standards. The project is slated for completion in time for the Bank’s centennial celebration in 2020.
Green BondIn October 2018, the Bank inked a US$150-million agreement to issue a bond to International Finance Corporation (IFC), the sole investor, in order to fund a fresh wave of environmentally-beneficial projects to mitigate climate change. The bond proceeds will be used to finance climate-smart projects, including renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and water conservation, in accordance with the Green Bond Principles.
Long-term DepositsThe Bank successfully raised ₱10.25 billion through a public offering of peso-denominated Long Term Negotiable Certificates of Time Deposits (LTNCD), the first tranche of its planned ₱20 billion LTNCD offering. This was the largest LTNCD issuance in the banking industry so far for 2018 and the biggest in the Bank’s history. The proceeds of the fund raising activity will be used to support China Bank’s medium-term strategic initiatives and expansion programs.
To support its business growth strategy, China Bank issued ₱6.35 billion of LTNCDs in June 2017, the second tranche from its ₱20-billion shelf issue. The initial tranche of ₱9.58-billion was issued last November 2016
Stock rights offer In 2017, China Bank completed its stock rights offer in the second quarter, with the full subscription of 484 million additional common shares amounting to ₱15 billion as part of its continuous proactive capital management strategy to enhance financial flexibility and balance sheet to support the ongoing strategic business expansion. China Bank conducted stock rights offering in 2014 where it is raised P8 billion in fresh capital.
Investment house subsidiaryCBCC continued to make significant headway in the capital markets by participating in several issue management and underwriting deals, including Ayala Land, Inc.’s pioneering ₱4.3-billion short-dated notes (sole lead underwriter), San Miguel Corporation’s ₱20 billion retail bonds (joint issue manager & joint lead underwriter), and 8990 Holding Inc.’s inaugural ₱5 billion preferred shares (sole issue manager & lead underwriter), among others.
CBCC was widely recognized by The Asset during its 2017 Triple A Awards, having received the following distinctions: Best Bond Adviser, Best Corporate Bond for Ayala Corporation’s US$400-million Fixed-For-Life Bonds, Best Local Currency Bond for the Ayala Land deal short-dated notes and Best Follow-On for Del Monte Pacific’s US$200-million preferred shares. CBCC also garnered top honors at 2017 Philippine Dealing System Awards, bagging the Top Issue Manager/ Arranger (Investment House Category) distinction, as well as a Special Citation for the pilot issuance and first official issuance under the Enrolled Securities Program of the PDEx. Furthermore, Alpha Southeast Asia awarded CBCC the Best Bond for Retail Investors in Southeast Asia for the Bureau of the Treasury’s ₱181-billion retail treasury bond.
In March 2017, the investment house concluded its acquisition of ATC Securities, Inc., which has been renamed China Bank Securities Corporation (“CBSec”), the stock brokerage arm of CBCC, which enables the Bank’s clients to participate in initial public offerings (IPOs) and trade shares on the PSE. In June 2016, CBCC incorporated CBC Assets One (SPC) Inc. (“CBC Assets One”), a special purpose company that engages in securitization transactions. In its first year of operations, CBSec was a key broker in the ₱8.6 billion IPO of Eagle Cement Corporation and the preferred shares offering of 8990 Holdings, Inc.
Syndicated term loanChina Bank secured a US$158 million three-year term loan facility from regional and international banks in June 2015. The facility marks our successful return to the international markets since our US$125 million floating rate certificates of deposit (FRCD) issue in 1996 and 1997. The facility carried an interest margin of 1.40% per annum over 3 months Libor. With the strong growth of our foreign currency deposit and favorable changes in market conditions, the loan was paid off in June 2017, one year ahead of schedule.
Business transformation project: new core banking systemIn 2017, China Bank also launched its corporate online banking platform which offers clients a 360° view of their cash positions and allows more efficient cash flow management. Meanwhile, The Asian Banker awarded China Bank the Best Core Banking Implementation (Mid-sized banks) for the successful upgrade and launch of the Finacle Core Banking System.
China Bank rolled out Finacle Core Banking Solution (FCBS) in August 2015. The move to replace the legacy system with the robust and more powerful FCBS from Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions, is part of the overall upgrade and enhancement initiative dubbed China Bank/CBS PLUS (Program to Level Up our Service) to support the Bank’s expanding operations and drive customer loyalty, growth, and innovation. China Bank acquired Finacle in 2012 for significantly greater computing power and enhanced capability and flexibility to improve service quality, optimize customer experience, manage risk and regulatory compliance more effectively, and easily adapt to changing customer demands and market trends. Following the successful migration to the new core banking system, China Bank upgraded its personal online banking website, China Bank Online, to include more customer friendly features, a new look, and a more robust and secure platform.
Joint venture and acquisitionsAside from organic growth, China Bank seeks out opportunities to build scale. In 2007, we entered into a bancassurance joint venture with Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife), the fifth largest insurance company in the world, to form Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corp. (MCBL), making China Bank a one-stop shop for customers’ banking and insurance needs. In the same year, we also acquired The Manila Banking Corporation (Manila Bank), the oldest savings bank in the country, and established our thrift bank arm, China Bank Savings (CBS). In November 2012, we acquired Pampanga-based rural bank Unity Bank to fast-track the branch expansion program of CBS. The acquisition boosted CBS’ network with 15 Unity Bank branches and additional 24 branch licenses in the restricted areas granted by Bangko Sentral ng (BSP) under the Strengthening Program for Rural Banks (SPRB) Plus. With a mandate to grow its own branch network, CBS launched its “mini branch” concept in 2013, which called for the opening of full service mini branches in retail outlets like Savemore and Hypermart, both popular grocery chains by the SM Group. In 2014, we acquired Plantersbank, the country’s largest private development bank and leading bank for SMEs. The deal bolstered our corporate strategy in two areas—growing China Bank’s middle market/SME portfolio and accelerating the branch network expansion program. In the same year, China Bank’s equity stake in MCBL was raised to 40% from 5%.
Investment house subsidiaryThe BSP approved in May 2015 China Bank’s P500 million venture in a new investment house subsidiary, China Bank Capital Corporation (China Bank Capital). China Bank Capital provides a wide range of services that include debt and equity capital raising and underwriting, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, and financial advisory services to all public and private companies. In April 2016, China Bank Capital acquired ATC Securities, renamed China Bank Securities Corporation (China Bank Securities), and a special purpose corporation to hold the assets for the securitization transactions of China Bank Capital, renamed CBC Assets One (SPC), Inc. China Bank Securities’ primary business is to provide clients with stock brokerage as well as securities research and analysis services. It also enables China Bank Capital to do Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and list these IPO shares in the PSE. In just three years, China Bank Capital has risen to prominence, winning major local and international awards, including Top Corporate Issue Manager/Arranger (Philippine Dealing System Group), Best Fixed Income House (Investment House Association of the Philippines), and Best Bond House and Best Bond Adviser-Domestic (The Asset), among others.
Credit CardIn 2015, China Bank’s 95th anniversary, China Bank MasterCard was launched. The China Bank Prime Mastercard is the “go-to” card for everyday expenses. The China Bank Platinum Mastercard is the ultimate privilege lifestyle card. The China Bank World Mastercard is the card that gives world-class privileges, taking luxury to a whole new level. In August 2019, China Bank launched two new credit card variants, bringing its credit card offerings to five. The China Bank Cash Rewards Mastercard offers up to 6% cash rewards on purchases. The China Bank Freedom Mastercard offers perpetual waiver of annual membership fees and access to exclusive rewards and deals. All five credit card variants are accepted worldwide, equipped with EMV and PayPass contactless technology, and offer perks and privileges for a more rewarding shopping experience.
‘Branch Re-Design’ project China Bank embarked on a major “branch re-design project” in 2015 as part of the ongoing expansion and development plans to provide customers with enhanced levels of service, convenience, and engagement. China Bank BGC-One World Place, which opened in September 2015, is the pilot branch for the new branch design, together with Cebu SRP–Seaside Mall Branch in November. The new design features an open layout, dynamic seating, contemporary counters and fixtures, and a progressive yet timeless ambience that still capture the rich heritage and character of the Bank, while maintaining a warm and personal customer experience.
Business transformation project: new core banking systemChina Bank rolled out Finacle Core Banking Solution (FCBS) in August 2015. The move to replace the legacy system with the robust and more powerful FCBS is part of the overall upgrade and enhancement initiative dubbed China Bank/CBS P.L.U.S. (Program to Level Up our Service) to support the Bank’s expanding operations and drive customer loyalty, growth, and innovation. China Bank acquired FCBS in 2012 for significantly greater computing power and enhanced capability and flexibility to improve service quality, optimize customer experience, manage risk and regulatory compliance more effectively, and easily adapt to changing customer demands and market trends.
Credit ratings In 2017, China Bank received an investment grade credit rating of Baa2 (the same level as the Philippine sovereign rating and at par with the country's top three banks) from Moody’s Investors Service, one of the world leaders in corporate business ratings. Prior to this, international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings affirmed China Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at ‘BB+’ and its Viability Rating at ‘bb+’ with stable outlook in February, following an upgrade in July 2016.