China Banking Corporation
Company typePublic
FoundedJanuary 1, 1901; 123 years ago (1901-01-01) (Manila, Philippine Islands)
July 26, 1920; 103 years ago (1920-07-26) (Manila, Philippine Islands)
HeadquartersChinabank Building, 8745 Paseo de Roxas corner Villar Street, Makati City 1227, Philippines
Number of locations
640 branches
1,044 ATMs (2022)
Key people
Hans T. Sy, (Chairman)
Gilbert U. Dee, (Vice Chairman)
Romeo D. Uyan Jr., (President and CEO)
Revenue67.27 billion (2022)
₱55.65 billion (2022)
₱19.1 billion (2022)
Total assets₱1.3 trillion (2022)
Total equity₱135 billion (2022)
Number of employees
10,237 (2022)
RatingMoody's: Baa2; PhilRatings: PRS Aaa(corp)

China Banking Corporation (simplified Chinese: 中兴银行; traditional Chinese: 中興銀行; pinyin: Zhōngxīng Yínháng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tiong-heng Gûn-hâng; PSECHIB), commonly known as Chinabank, is a Filipino bank established in 1920. It was the first privately owned local commercial bank in the Philippines initially catering to the banking needs of Chinese Filipino entrepreneurs. The bank offers a wide range of banking services, including deposits, investments, trust, cash management, remittance, and loans. It also offers insurance brokerage, stock brokerage, and bancassurance services through its subsidiaries and affiliate.

Chinabank was named Best Bank in the Philippines and its investment house arm Chinabank Capital was awarded Best Bond Adviser (Domestic) by The Asset at the Triple A Country Awards 2021.[1] It was also recognized as among the Top 20 ASEAN Publicly Listed Companies, as an ASEAN Asset Class, and among the Top 3 Publicly Listed Companies in the Philippines by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum in 2022[2] and 2021.[3] Chinabank was also a recipient of the Institute of Corporate Directors' highest governance recognition, winning the 5-Golden Arrow Award for two years in a row in 2022 [4] and 2023.[5]



China Banking Corporation Building, the bank's former headquarters in Binondo, Manila

Chinabank, founded by Dee C. Chuan, Albino SyCip, Guillermo A. CuUnjieng, Carlos Palanca Sr. and other visionaries, opened its first office at No. 90 Rosario (now Quintin Paredes) Street, Binondo on August 16, 1920, with J.W. McFerran as the first general manager. Shortly afterward, Eugene E. Wing of the International Banking Corporation took over and managed Chinabank'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 businesspeople who operated on the principle of (Hokkien Chinese: 信用; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: sìn-iōng) or trustworthiness. Chinabank recognized the value of sìn-iōng and granted small loans and opened credit accounts with patrons and suppliers without demand for collateral. In 1924, the company completed its headquarters in Binondo, the China Bank Building.[6]

Dominga Ayala-Guillermo Araullo Cu Unjieng (Manila Chinese Cemetery.
Guillermo Araullo Cu Unjieng (Qui Yunheng)

Chinabank later opened two overseas branches in China, one in Amoy in 1925 and another in Shanghai in 1929. However, both branches closed in 1944 when political conditions in China became inimical to operations.

When the Japanese occupational forces invaded Manila in 1942, Chinabank was closed. But in 1941, the bank began turning over assets to the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines Francis Bowes Sayre Sr. for safekeeping, with the help of the officials of the US Treasury Department of Manila. With these overseas assets and the Bureau of Banking's full cooperation, Chinabank reopened in 1945 and listed on the Manila Stock Exchange in 1947, among the first local banks to do so.

Chinabank played a key role in post-World War II reconstruction and recovery through its support to businesses and entrepreneurs in critical industries. It opened its first branch outside Manila in Cebu in 1949.

In 1969, Chinabank computerized its operations, becoming the first bank in Southeast Asia to process deposit accounts online. China Bank upgraded its online system in 1988 and launched the TellerCard ATM account and TellerPhone, the first telephone banking service in the Philippines. In 1990, China Bank, along with seven other banks, set up BancNet, currently the country's largest ATM network.

In 1991, Chinabank acquired its universal bank license, ushering an era of expanded banking operations. It launched its consumer loans in 1994, Chinabank HomePlus Loan and Chinabank AutoPlus Loan, followed by China Check Plus, an interest-earning checking account in 1996. In the same year, Chinabank accessed the offshore capital markets for the first time by issuing US$50-million Floating Rate Certificate of Deposit (FRCD).

As Chinabank invested in new technologies, it launched its Cash Management services in 2004, followed by internet banking (Chinabank Online) and remittance services in 2006.

In the same year, Chinabank, with 148 branches at the time, embarked on an aggressive branch network expansion program. By its 90th year in 2010, the bank had nearly doubled its nationwide network to 269 branches.

Recent developments

A Chinabank branch in Apalit, Pampanga

Chinabank has been involved in strategic alliances to expand and strengthen its operations. In 2007, the bank entered into a Bancassurance joint venture with The Manufactures Life Insurance Company, one of the leading insurance companies in the world, to form Manulife China Bank Life Assurance Corporation (MCBLife),[7] and acquired the majority shares in Manila Bank, one of the oldest savings banks in the country.[8]

In 2008, Chinabank's thrift bank subsidiary China Bank Savings (CBS) began operations. CBS targets entry level and start-up customers to asset accumulators, offering products and services that match different life stages, like basic deposit products for those building up their savings, basic loan products to fund personal dreams, and investment products. In 2012, Chinabank acquired Pampanga-based Unity Bank, which was merged with CBS in 2014. The acquisition supported the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' Strengthening Program for Rural Banks (SPRB) Plus, which aimed to effectively serve the countryside and improve the delivery of financial services to rural communities by strengthening the thrift and rural banking industry. The merger fast-tracked the savings bank's branch expansion program.

In September 2013, Chinabank forged a deal to acquire a majority stake in Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank), a development-oriented finance institution nationally acclaimed as the country's lead bank for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).[9] The merger was approved in May 2014 by the BSP.[10] Plantersbank was merged with CBS with the latter as the surviving entity .

To complete its range of product offerings, Chinabank entered into a credit card partnership with MasterCard in 2013.[11] China Bank launched three credit card types under the MasterCard brand in 2014: Chinabank Prime, Chinabank Platinum, and Chinabank World MasterCard.

In 2014, Ricardo R. Chua succeeded Peter S. Dee as president and CEO of Chinabank.[12] Dee joined the Bank in 1972 and served as president and CEO for 26 years. Chua joined China Bank in 1975, rose through the ranks, and had served as Chief Operating Officer from 1994 until his appointment as Chinabank president.

Chua was succeeded by William C. Whang in 2017.[13] During his leadership, the bank embarked in its Binondo Heritage Restoration Project, the centerpiece of the bank's centennial celebration.[14] The restored building bears the National Historical Commission of the Philippines' historical marker and the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Important Cultural Property marker. Also on its 100th year, Chinabank breached the trillion-peso mark in assets.[15]

In 2023, Romeo D. Uyan Jr., who helped establish the bank's investment banking arm in 2014, became Chinabank President and CEO.[16]

Plantersbank acquisition

In 2013, China Bank forged a deal to acquire a majority stake in Plantersbank.[17]

China Bank settled 1.579 billion for the 84.77% capital stock owned by the Tambunting family and related parties and the Dutch development bank FMO on January 15, 2014. On the same date, the new members of the Plantersbank board were elected, and officers of China Bank and CBS were appointed to various board/management committees of Plantersbank.[18]

The acquisition of Plantersbank bolstered Chinabank's strategy in two areas: growing its middle market/SME portfolio and accelerating its network expansion program.[19]

Stock rights offering

Chinabank raised ₱8 billion from its stock rights offering, issuing 161,609,878 shares at ₱49.50 per share. The shares were listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange on May 13, 2014.[20] The fresh equity were used to fund the growth in the bank's loan portfolio, branch network expansion, and technology upgrades.

Since embarking on its branch expansion program in 2006, Chinabank has more than doubled its asset size, market reach, and branch network without having to go back to its shareholders for additional capital, until the 2014 stock rights offering.

At its 2014 stockholders' meeting, Chinabank declared ₱1.00 per share or 10% cash dividend for a total of ₱1.59 billion and an 8% stock dividend, and increased its authorized capital stock to ₱25 billion.[21]

New core banking system

In 2015, Chinabank switched to a new and more powerful core banking system from Infosys for greater computing power and enhanced capability and flexibility to improve service quality, optimize customer experience, effectively manage risk and regulatory compliance, and easily adapt to changing customer demands and market trends. The successful core banking migration was awarded as the Best Core Banking Implementation Project – Mid-Size Bank in The Asian Banker Technology Innovation Awards 2017.[22]

Green bonds

Chinabank issued its first green bond in 2018, raising US$150 million to fund a fresh wave of environmentally-beneficial projects to help mitigate climate change. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, was the sole investor in the bond.[23] The US$150 million bond proceeds were used to finance climate-smart projects, including renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency and water conservation, in accordance with the Green Bond Principles. This issuance brought up China Bank’s climate portfolio to over US$200 million, making it one of the market leaders for climate-smart financing in the country and one of a few banks that has established a clear sustainability strategy.

Mobile App

Chinabank revamped its Chinabank Mobile App in 2018, first introduced in 2013 to make it easy and convenient for Chinabank customers to bank on the go. With enhanced security features and functionalities like Pay to Mobile or JUMP (Just Use your Mobile Phone), NOW (no card on withdrawal) or emergency cash which allows clients to withdraw from a China Bank ATM using only their mobile app, real-time Autosweep RFID Reloading, e-Gift for transferring money to others, and the first and only Branch/ATM locator that uses augmented reality and indicates whether an ATM is available or unavailable real-time, Chinabank Mobile won the Mobile Banking & Payment Initiative of the Year – Philippines at the Asian Banking & Finance (ABF) Retail Awards 2020.[24]

Subsidiaries and affiliates

The following companies are part of the Chinabank Group:


As of Dec. 31, 2022:


  1. ^ Dumlao-Abadilla, Doris (January 8, 2022). "China Bank named best bank in PH". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  2. ^ Loyola, James (December 8, 2022). "China Bank bags 3 ASEAN Corporate Governance awards". Manila Bulletin.
  3. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (February 18, 2021). "China Bank among top winners in ASEAN governance awards". Philippine Star.
  4. ^ "China Bank wins Five Golden Arrows for governance excellence". Manila Bulletin. March 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Loyola, James (October 5, 2023). "Chinabank bags 2nd Five-Golden Arrow Award". Manila Bulletin.
  6. ^ "Binondo Heritage Restoration Project". China Banking Corporation. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  7. ^ Torres, Ted P. (October 9, 2007). "Manulife bullish with China Bank joint venture". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on 3 August 2023. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  8. ^ Torres, Ted P. "China Bank to open thrift banking unit". The Philippine Star.
  9. ^ "China Bank Strengthens SME Focus with Plantersbank Deal". PHStocks. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  10. ^ "BSP Approves China Bank's Bid To Acquire Remaining Stake In Planters Bank - Philippines - Business Monitor". Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  11. ^ "BusinessMirror - China Bank partners with MasterCard". BusinessMirror. Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  12. ^ Dumlao, Doris C. "China Bank names Ricardo Chua president". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  13. ^ "Chinabank Board okays appointment of new prexy". 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2023-09-20.
  14. ^ "Restoring China Bank Binondo Business Center for future generations". China Banking Corporation. October 17, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Cabuenas, John Viktor (October 29, 2020). "China Bank posts double-digit earnings growth, breaches P1T in assets in Q3". GMA News.
  16. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (December 10, 2022). "China Bank names new president". The Philippine Star.
  17. ^ "China Bank Strengthens SME Focus with Plantersbank Deal | PHStocks". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Chinabank pays P1.58B to acquire Plantersbank". GMA News.
  19. ^ "China Bank-Plantersbank merger OK'd".
  20. ^ "China Bank lists shares from stock rights offering". GMA News.
  21. ^ "(CBC) China Banking Corporation - About China Bank".
  22. ^ "China Banking Corporation and Infosys awarded Best Core Banking Implementation Project" (PDF).
  23. ^ Mogato, Anna Gabriela (October 19, 2018). "China Bank issues first green bond, raises $150-M for climate-smart projects". BusinessWorld.
  24. ^ "China Bank Mobile App Bags Mobile Banking and Payment Initiative of the Year award". Tagit. November 1, 2020.