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 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 596 as of end- 2017 (including 160 China Bank Savings branches). This wide branch network is complemented by electronic banking channels that provide secure and reliable 24/7 banking service: 888 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.
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. All three 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.
Stock rights offerIn 2014, China Bank raised P8 billion in fresh capital through a stock rights offering (SRO) as part of our continuous proactive capital management strategy to enhance financial flexibility and balance sheet to support the on-going strategic business expansion. This marked the first time that China Bank raised capital from stockholders. The second time came in 2017 when we successfully completed a P15 billion SRO the proceeds of which will be used to grow the Bank's loan portfolio, expand the branch network, and support other strategic business initiatives.
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 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.