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13 Chinese Banks Invested over 100 Billion Yuan in Fintech in 2019, Tech Personnel Surpass 80,000

The 2019 annual reports of around a dozen Chinese banks point to considerable efforts to step up spending and development of fintech.

The tech staff teams of China’s big six state-owned banks plus six joint-stock banks collectively exceeds 80,000, with ICBC and China Construction Bank both employing over 10,000 tech personnel.

Fintech staff numbers at 12 listed Chinese banks in 2019

BankTech staff
ICBC34,800
China Construction Bank10,200
Bank of China8,000
Ping An Bank 7,500
Agricultural Bank of China7,400
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank3,900
Bank of Communications3,500
China Merchants Bank 3,300
China CITIC Bank3,200
Industrial Bank Co. 1,900
China Everbright Bank1,500
China Zheshang Bank800

Over 20% of staff at Ping An Bank are in tech, making it the Chinese lender with the largest share of tech employees. Ping An Bank’s tech staff also saw growth of over 34% in 2019, while China CITIC Bank’s saw a rise of 56.2%, and China Merchant Bank’s an increase of 62.4%.

Tech staff as percentage of total employees at 12 listed Chinese banks in 2019

BankPercentage of staff in tech
Ping An Bank21.87%
ICBC7.82%
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank6.69%
China CITIC Bank5.58%
China Zheshang Bank5.43%
Bank of Communications3.94%
China Merchants Bank 3.84%
China Everbright Bank 3.38%
Industrial Bank Co., Ltd. 3.16%
China Construction Bank 2.94%
Bank of China 2.58%
Agricultural Bank of China 1.58%

Chinese banks also spent heavily in tech in 2019, with 13 lenders collectively investing over 100 billion yuan, and four of the big state-owned banks making tech outlays of over 10 billion yuan each.

Fintech investment of 13 Chinese banks in 2019

BankFintech investment
China Construction Bank 17.633 billion yuan
ICBC16.374 billion yuan
Agricultural Bank of China 12.79 billion yuan
Bank of China 11.654 billion yuan
China Merchants Bank 9.361 billion yuan
Postal Savings Bank of China 8.18 billion yuan
Bank of Communications 5.975 billion yuan
China CITIC Bank 4.9 billion yuan
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank4.12 billion yuan
Ping An Bank 3.597 billion yuan
Industrial Bank Co.3.565 billion yuan
China Everbright Bank 3.404 billion yuan
Huaxia Bank 2.656 billion yuan

Fintech investment by Chinese banks was in general around 2% of revenue, although at Agricultural Bank of China it breached 5%.

Fintech investment as a share of operating revenues for 13 listed Chinese banks in 2019

Bank Fintech investment as share of operating revenue
Agricultural Bank of China5.43%
China Merchants Bank 3.47%
Huaxia Bank 3.13%
Postal Savings Bank of China 2.96%
China CITIC Bank 2.61%
Ping An Bank 2.61%
Bank of Communications2.57%
China Everbright Bank2.56%
China Construction Bank 2.50%
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank2.16%
Bank of China 2.12%
Industrial Bank Co. 1.97%
ICBC 1.91%

At least nine Chinese banks had established their own fintech subsidiaries as of the end of 2019, including three of the big state-owned lenders.

Fintech subsidiaries established by Chinese banks

BankFintech Subsidiary Time of registrationRegistered addressRegistered capital
Bank of ChinaBank of China Tech June 2019 Shanghai600 million yuan
Bank of BeijingBank of Beijing Tech May 2019 Beijing50 million yuan
ICBCICBC TechMarch 2019 Xiong’an New District600 million yuan
Huaxia BankLongying Zhida (龙盈智达)May 2018Shenzhen21 million yuan
China Minsheng BankMinsheng TechApril 2018Beijing200 million yuan
China Construction Bank Jianxin Jinke (建信金科)April 2018Shanghai160 million yuan
China Everbright BankEverbright TechDecember 2016Beijing200 million yuan
China Merchants BankMerchant Bank Yunchuang (招银云创)February 2016Shenzhen50 million yuan
Industrial Bank Co. Xingye Shujin (兴业数金)November 2015Shanghai500 million yuan

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