China Host to 4588 Banks, Big Five State-owned Lenders Account for 37% of Assets


The big five state-owned banks continue to account for well over a third of the Chinese banking sector’s total assets.

As of the end of 2018 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Bank of Communications (BOCOM) had total assets of 105 trillion yuan, jointly accounting for 37% of Chinese banking sector assets according to data on the domestic financial sector released by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on 5 August.

Their collective deposit balance was 76 trillion yuan, accounting 44% of the sector-wide total, while their collective loan balance was 58 trillion yuan, for a 38% sector-wide total.

The big five state-owned banks had 1.65 million staff, equal to 40% of Chinese banking sector employees.

CBIRC said that “compared to major economies such as Europe and the United States, the level of concentration of the Chinese banking sector is comparatively low and remains at rational levels.”

China was host to a total of 4588 banking sector financial institutions as of the end of 2018, of which over 3000 were controlled by private capital.

Private capital accounts for over 40% of total equity in Chinese joint-stock banks, as well as over 50% of total equity in municipal commercial banks and over 80% of equity in rural village cooperative financial institutions.

Since 2014 China has also given its approval to the launch of 17 privately operated banks.

Chinese banking sector financial institutions have a total of 221,000 premises operating domestically, of which the big five state-owned banks operate 68,000, for a 31% share of the total.