China’s Big State-owned Lenders Continue to Cut Branch Numbers as Digital Banking Expands


Big banks in China continue to shut down their physical branches as fintech and digital banking increases in popularity.

2021 saw the closure of more than 2,600 bank branches in China according to official sources. The closures were led primarily by the big state-owned banks and joint-stock banks who are making greater use of online channels to provide financial services to China’s netizens.

2021 also saw the opening of more than 2300 new bank branches however, chiefly by municipal commercial banks and rural commercial banks, seeking to reach rural or undeveloped markets via an increase in physical premises.